Stag beetles are generally large, some reaching 60 mm long, and the males usually have large mandibles. Larvae live in decaying logs and stumps. They are distributed around the world, and are most common in the tropics. Adults are capable flyers and are often found at lights at night.

American stag beetle, Lucanus elaphus Adult males are 45-60 mm long; females are 30-35 mm. They are dark brown and shiny; legs and antennae are brownish black. Males have mandibles nearly as long as the body; mandibles of the female are not as long as the head. Larvae feed on decaying wood and other organic matter, and they are often found in old stumps, especially oak. Adults fly to lights at night.

Britishstag beetle,Lucanuscervus Adultmales are30-50 mm long and have large, antler-like mandibles. Females are about 30 mm long, and are without large mandibles. These beetles are distributed in the UK, and they feed in rotting tree stumps and decayed wood. A related species, the lesser stag beetle, Dorchus parallelopipedus, also occurs in the UK, and it is found in decayed wood. Adults fly to lights at night.

Pinching beetle, Pseudolucanus capreolus Adults are 22-35 mm long and brown to dark brown; the male does not have large mandibles. These beetles occur in eastern USA.

syndeus cornutus Adults are 8-10 mm long and uniformly brown; it has characteristically large and dentate mandibles. Larvae are C-shaped and feed on moist and decaying wood. In natural habitats, it lives in logs and decaying stumps of trees. In the urban environment, it infests decaying wood in moist (30% moisture content) subfloor timbers and joists.

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