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Stag beetle larvae?


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Is anyone able to confirm if this is stag beetle larvae or not?  Found this one under a log, there was a smaller one as well.  I have seen bess beetles in the same forest so I'm just trying to confirm it's not one of those.  It looks like it has the Y shaped anus with two big lobes, which I read is exclusive to stag beetle larvae but not sure if that's accurate.

Also what kind and gender? (I read they might be indistinguishable so no worries if not)

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2 minutes ago, Goliathus said:

Yes - it's definitely a stag beetle larva.  I'm not sure what species, though.  Looks like either Lucanus elaphus or L. capreolus.

Awesome thanks.  The two stag beetles that apparently live in my area are those two, so I guess it will be a surprise which one. 

The log I found it under was still pretty hard, so I couldn't take any of it with me, but I found some reddish wood that is pretty brittle nearby, will this make a suitable substrate for keeping it happy?  Do I need to add soil or will pure wood work?  I can provide photos if needed.  Not sure how picky of eaters these guys are.  

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14 hours ago, newbie007 said:

Awesome thanks.  The two stag beetles that apparently live in my area are those two, so I guess it will be a surprise which one. 

The log I found it under was still pretty hard, so I couldn't take any of it with me, but I found some reddish wood that is pretty brittle nearby, will this make a suitable substrate for keeping it happy?  Do I need to add soil or will pure wood work?  I can provide photos if needed.  Not sure how picky of eaters these guys are.  

I believe that "white rot" wood is actually more suitable for most stag beetles, but there are others here who undoubtedly have considerably more experience with rearing Lucanus than I do.  In any case, I've reared both Lucanus elaphus and L. mazama on flake soil (decayed hardwood sawdust) with good results.  As for creating the right substrate composition for pupation, I'm still not completely sure about that, as I've had cases in which the larvae pupated successfully in pure flake soil, as well as a layer of clay soil placed at the bottom of the rearing container.

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Among many C-shaped scarabaeoidea larvae, Lucanidae is the only (with few exceptions) group that has a longitudinal or Y-shaped anal opening, whereas other scarabs are usually transverse.

I also have experiences of finding some stag beetle larvae under a rock hard, barely (or not at all) decayed fallen oak tree. Lucanus species are known to laying their eggs not inside a decayed tree, but right around tree roots or near fallen trees where it is touching soil.. So I suppose that's how I encountered them.. Mine turned out to be Lucanus elaphus. It is difficult to identify based on larval morphologies since there is no key available.

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59 minutes ago, Goliathus said:

I believe that "white rot" wood is actually more suitable for most stag beetles, but there are others here who undoubtedly have considerably more experience with rearing Lucanus than I do.  In any case, I've reared both Lucanus elaphus and L. mazama on flake soil (decayed hardwood sawdust) with good results.  As for creating the right substrate composition for pupation, I'm still not completely sure about that, as I've had cases in which the larvae pupated successfully in pure flake soil, as well as a layer of clay soil placed at the bottom of the rearing container.

Yeah I did some searching after I asked and someone was explaining brown rot doesn't have the nutrients that stag beetle larvae need, so I went and got what I'm assuming is white rot, kind of a white/pale yellow color, very flaky but stays in long strands, unlike the brown rot which just crumbled.  Hopefully I got the right stuff, there looked like there were signs of something eating out the underside of the log I took it from, and a few random holes under the log in the dirt as well, which didn't seem to lead anywhere, so perhaps some larvae used to live there.

 

31 minutes ago, JKim said:

Among many C-shaped scarabaeoidea larvae, Lucanidae is the only (with few exceptions) group that has a longitudinal or Y-shaped anal opening, whereas other scarabs are usually transverse.

I also have experiences of finding some stag beetle larvae under a rock hard, barely (or not at all) decayed fallen oak tree. Lucanus species are known to laying their eggs not inside a decayed tree, but right around tree roots or near fallen trees where it is touching soil.. So I suppose that's how I encountered them.. Mine turned out to be Lucanus elaphus. It is difficult to identify based on larval morphologies since there is no key available.

Yeah, there was some softer wood nearby I'm going to try using that.  I think the part that surpised me the most was that there seemed to be an ant colony under the wood as well, I'm surprised they didn't kill the larvae.

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