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Catching stag beetles

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Hello all,

Just had a few questions, apparently there are elephant stag beetles where I live, so I've been kinda on a mission to find some.  No luck with beetles but I think I did find some larvae of some kind of stag beetle.  I was considering hanging some traps but had a few questions:

1)  What is the best time of the year for these?  I'm not sure if I'm too early, I started looking mid May.


2)  Has anyone tried using these bottle traps or window pane traps?  I was thinking of trying them baited with ginger, apparently european stag beetles were baited pretty well with ginger, I'd assume US stag beetles are the same


Optimizing sampling of flying insects using a modified window trap - Knuff  - 2019 - Methods in Ecology and Evolution - Wiley Online Library

3)  Any general tips for finding them without traps?  I have been trying rolling all logs I can find, only found two larvae, not sure if they will be hiding under logs or just on the ground/trees.

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I can't give you much tips on traps but I believe the best time to find Lucanus elaphus is mid june-july. If the ginger method works, please let me know. I've been curious too ever since I read the paper on it.

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Difference between the two traps illustrated in this original post is whether you are only collecting flying insects that drop when they hit wall while they fly (first image), or go up or go down for both (second image). First pictured trap can be used especially for Cetoniines and Rutelines, or anything that drops when they hit a wall while flying. Second pictured trap is for more wider range of taxonomic groups including fly, butterfly, bees (for top collector), and beetles (for bottom collector).

Of course what you can collect may depends on your location, bait types, etc. These are not a great way to collect stag beetles especially in the United States where barely any stag beetle species are being attracted to tree saps, which is very distinctly different behavior you can find compared to many European or Asian species group...

Also, that hole seems too big, and too close to bottom if you don't have any container attached on bottom. If you have container attached on bottom, that's fine! I collected some fig beetles (Cotinis nitida and Cotinis mutabilis) like this before in between 2008 to 2010. I made two 1.5" - 2" holes on Smart Water bottle on top (when it is upside-down), and hung banana with wire inside the bottle, and hung the trap on trees. I collected hundreds of Euphoria sepulcralis as well along with high numbers of fig beetles. It was very interesting.

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Ah I think the second trap was just the first image I found, I didn't realize it had that top section.  The one I saw before was pretty much that with a lid type thing at the top to keep out rain and so bugs that fly up will hit the lid and then drop into the bottom.

That is interesting that american stag beetles aren't attracted to the sap like european or asian species.  It seems from google searches there is very little info on the american species which is kinda sad and suprising.

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