Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…
Inspiration comes from the strangest places. In this case, Midiman got a plastic toy from someone we regularly meet when we get our take out. He got a stag beetle. Normally we don’t prefer plastic toys, we like (love) wooden toys. But for this insect we made an exception. When we got home, we put the toy in the cabinet and didn’t pay much attention to it anymore.
Until today. Maximan was setting up the table to do some crafting when he came across the stag beetle. Curious what it was, he took it out of the cabinet. Looking up information on internet we learned that the male was not able to eat due to his jaws and was likely to die because of lack of food.
Stag beetles are a group of about 1,200 species of beetle in the family Lucanidae, presently classified in four subfamilies Some species grow to 8 cm (3¼ in), but most are about 5 cm (2 in).
The English name is derived from the large and distinctive mandibles found on the males of most species, which resemble the antlers of stags.
A well-known species in much of Europe is Lucanus cervus, referred to in Britain as “the” stag beetle (it is the largest British terrestrial insect). Pliny the Elder noted that Nigidius called the stag beetle lucanus after the Italian region of Lucania where they were used as amulets. The scientific name of Lucanus cervus is this word, plus cervus, deer.
Male stag beetles use their jaws to wrestle each other for favoured mating sites, but despite their often fearsome appearance they are not normally aggressive to humans. Stag beetles are sometimes used in the Chinese sport of insect fighting.
Female stag beetles are usually smaller than the males, with smaller mandibles.
The larvae feed for several years on rotting wood, growing into grubs which in larger species may be as big as a human finger.
We watched a short movie on youtube about their habitat and mating.
Out of nothing he drew the stag beetle. I am so proud of him! Maximan commented: “Mom, you didn’t know I could do that. Did you?”
The stag beetle couldn’t do without a house. We couldn’t build him a tree. So Maximan made him something else.