The stag beetle is Britain's largest insect and one of the most well-known of all the beetles. The male is easily recognised because of his mouthparts which have evolved into enormous jaws, resembling the antlers on a stag's head.

Stag Beetles and Humans

In both Britain and on the Continent, stag beetles used to be much more common and widespread than they are today. They are still declining in numbers, although Britain has many more than other European countries. Southern England has the highest population of all, and they can also be found in parts of southern East Anglia.

Adult stag beetles are sometimes killed on purpose by people thinking that they are dangerous, but the biggest threat to them, as is the case with most threatened species, is destruction of their habitat. Many woodlands have been cleared of fallen trees, depriving the female beetles of the damp, decaying timber they need for laying their eggs.

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