Ciervo Volante/ Stag Beetle - Rita Cortês de Matos
Rita Cortês de Matos
Ciervo Volante/ Stag Beetle
The Stag beetle, Lucanus cervus, is the biggest beetle in Europe well known for its enlarged and varied mandibles (II). Sexually dimorphic, the males are larger than females.
Females lay their eggs in a piece of decaying wood, deep in the soil. Stag beetle larvae feed on rotting wood for several years. The larvae go through several instar stages, taking 4 to 6 years to become pupae (I). Adults emerge in summer to mate and only live for a few weeks.
In the Iberian Peninsula Lucanus cervus has been associated with a range of deciduous trees like Quercus and Castaneo sativa (III).
The desaparicion of its natural habitat makes this species vulnerable and protected by several international laws, subsubscribed by Portugal and Spain within the "special interest" category.
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