STAG BEETLESTAG BEETLE (LUCANUS CERVUS)
LOCAL BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN
The stag beetle is Britain's largest and most distinctive insect, conspicuous for the males large antlers used for fighting. The females also have antlers but they are much smaller than those of the males. The stag beetle can be found in broadleaved woodland, parks, other pasture woodland and gardens. The larvae live in the decaying wood of deciduous trees, often in roots and stumps, and take at least three and a half years to mature.
The distribution of the stag beetle has been declining nationally during the past 50 years. Historical records suggest that the beetle was probably never common the Cheshire region and may now be extinct.
The stag beetle is listed by the U.K. Steering Group as a Globally Threatened/Declining species and is protected under Annex IIa of the EU habitats Directive and Appendix III of the Bern Convention. From April 1998 the stag beetle also became protected under Schedule 5 of the U.K.'s Wildlife Countryside Act 1981.
UK BAP for Stag Beetle - www.ukbap.org.uk/UKPlans.aspx?ID=425
Nationally, declines are attributable to changes in climate and loss of habitat through the removal of fallen timber, tree stumps and other dead wood. Incorporating the maintenance of dead wood, where possible, into practical woodland management and landscaping schemes forms part of the Ancient and Semi Natural Woodland and Wood-pasture and Parkland Action Plans.
References & Glossary
HMSO (1995): Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report, Volume 2:Action Plans, London.
Napier, D. (1998): Saving the Stag Beetle (Draft), People's Trust for Endangered Species.
Shirt, D.B. (Ed.) (1987): British Red Data Books: 2 Insects. Nature Conservancy Council.