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Magnificent creatures! Have seen these around my garden in Kent in the last week or so. Thanks for the link to the Stag Beetle Survey. Must send off my record too!
Very interesting, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing one of these chaps but it looks very impressive in your picture! I have a dedicated wildlife area in my garden now which consists of log piles, wild flower lawn and all my fences and partitions within this area are made from either upended logs or hurdles made from entwined branches. All ready this year I have seen a massive increase in butterflies, lady birds and other bugs and beetles so hopefully in years to come I may get the pleasure of this magnificent fella also! higgy
Cervus lucana. A magnificent beast is it not?Hopefully you are right about it being a good year for them,they deserve to survive.If only people who have gardens would put aside a piece of their patch just for beetles of all species!Except of course-woodlice,they I could do without.
I agree, Stag Beetles are magnificent. I keep the odd log pile in my garden, it does not take up much room to help beetles and other wildlife.
It is a good year for beetles. I have picked up several on the pavement on the way to my shops and put them back on the verge so they do not get trodden on. I can't ever recall doing this in the fifty odd years I have been treading this route. When I was pushing a pushchair it was the eagle-eyed occupants who would point out the worms, ladybirds etc we encountered. Children are fascinated by bugs of all kinds. I put a capsid bug and a lily beetle in a matchbox to show them how beautiful and different they can be but was never lucky enough to find a monster stag beetle.


I saw a stag beetle last weekend in Bromley, Kent. It's the first one I've seen since I was a child, which would be over 30 years ago now!
In my garden I have black beetles but they don't look like the stag beetle. I would love to see one. Can these beetles be 'storm beetles' or are there pests? I hate killing anything.
Richard, I just had a wildlife experience on my way home from the shops - a ladybird alighted on my shoulder. i told it to stay there and i would take it away from the concrete jungle to some greenery but it misunderstood me and flew off. It reminded me of 1976 when the promenade at Weston suer Mare was invaded by tens of thousands of ladybirds right in the middle if the tourist season. By the many I have seen already it is set to be just such a summer.
And I nearly stepped on one in Herne Hill the other week! Didn't fancy picking him up though, so had to encourage him back a bush with a big stick while my girlfriend screamed.
Stag beetle update. Got a call from a friend yesterday evening, their cat had brought in a stag beetle. It was damaged so I collected it this morning. It's lost a wing case and a couple of legs. It's very unsure of itself, and I doubt it will survive. Lazy gardener. I'm not sure I know what storm beetles are. Happymarion. They 'swarmed' in Brighton too that year, biting people when they landed. Very odd. Andy. They look menacing, but are very gentle really. They feel a bit scratchy with their clawed feet as they crawl on you, but I have photos of my children holding them quite easily. Just don't stick your finger between their massive jaws. Ordinarily, they do not have enough leverage to squeeze hard, and give just a nip with the tips of their jaws. But I once 'tested' a giant in Downham (near Bromley) and it skewered me with the large tooth about a third from the base of each jaw. I got blood all over my field notebook. Ironically, the females, which lack the antlers, have much more power and are more likely to give a sharp bite.
Richard I googled garden beetles and found. I think. what appears in my garden just before it rains (ground beetle)family carbidae. Is it a pest? I quite liked the look of it. happymarion adviced me to use a magnifying glass in the garden and what things of interest I could find. I certainly have.!!!!Love searching out things.
gosh got loads of stag beetles in my garden,what to do ,scary looking things,,do they pinch or bite/.
found a single one in the garden near the compost bin . Used to be a tree there. This in Norwood,
Reply to Woody My grandmother used to live in Albert Road, South Norwood, and I got a frantic phone call one evening to say she had found a frightening beast in the garden. I drove over to find the biggest male stag beetle I have ever seen trapped under an upturned flowerpot. No amount of my urging would convince her that this was anything than the Devil incarnate and she vowed to tread on any others she ever saw. I'm glad to know they are still around despite her fears.


I have loads of black beetles which I think are ground beetles. As far as I am aware the only thing they harm are the dreaded flatworms which are a nuisance in the part of Scotland where I live.
We've spotted a female stag beetle and a lesser stag beetle in Dog Kennel Hill Woods in East Dulwich:
Just sat on the sofa watching tv in the evening and heard a strange scratching sound , i thought oh no not mice then i saw an enormous black object walk out from under the sofa, at this point i called out for my husband to come and get the insect out .He put a plstic cup over it and slid paper underneath then put it outside the front door .Ive seen stag beetles before , one got caught in my mums hair once when i was younger living in london but nothing as big as this it was the size of the palm of my hand,We now live in southampton.
Reply to Cockney Flown South As you can see from this Biodiversity Network Map Southampton is well within the known area for stag beetles, but you are still very lucky to see one away from London. I remember many years ago walking through Arundel Park in Sussex and hearing a grown man screaming. He had walked into waist-high stinging nettles to retrieve a football and a stag beetle had latched onto his jeans. My father strode up, carefully lifted it free and gave to me, a 5- or 6-year-old, to hold in my hand.