Stag beetle, Lucanus cervus

Postcard Stag Beetle by Albrecht Dürer (1505), drawing by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Stag beetles live in some places in Belgium and the Netherlands, but they are hard to find these days. They seem to belong to the past, to the time of Albrecht Dürer. However, in the east of the Netherlands, in an area that I know well, there are two places designed for Stag beetles to lay eggs in rotting and fungi covered oak wood. They are ‘Stag beetle nurseries’ or ‘Stag beetle log piles’, in Dutch they are referred to as ‘Hertenstoven‘. By offering the few living Stag beetles nurseries, conversationalists hope to save stag beetles from extinction.

Have you ever seen a Stag beetle? Do they live in your area?

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Artist, Author & Expat

@mindfuldrawing on Instagram

16 thoughts on “Stag beetle, Lucanus cervus

  1. I’ve never seen one in real. As a child I just found the “mandibles” in a little forest in Upper Austria – and was so proud of them. 😉
    Paula, I really like your drawings and your explainations, soooo wonderful!
    All the best, Martina 🙂
    PS: found your blog via Sybilles art diary.

    1. Welcome, Martina.
      I would be excited to find the mandibles (the jaws of a Stag beetle) too!
      That at least is a sign you are at the right place to find one in the future.
      Best wishes to you too,

  2. I’m not sure if stag beetles live in our part of the world (I’m now inspired to look it up), but I am certain I’ve not seen one. Interestingly, the coloring you’ve used for the thorax (?) on your beetle is strikingly similar to beetles I do see occasionally. Very nice.

    1. Thank you, Sid. I’m sure you will find interesting beetles in your area. I think you live in Michigan? I’ve been there ones and met some people who love the Netherlands because their ancestors were Dutch.
      Your too?

      1. I indeed do live in Michigan, and the west side of the state in particular was settled by Dutch immigrants. My ancestry is German and French (French-Canadian); my father’s German family found its way more to middle of the state, which is where I am as well.

        From what I know of the Netherlands, one need not be Dutch to love the country! I’d certainly like to visit some day.

  3. Come to London, Paula. We have plenty of these magnificent creatures in the summer, especially in parks and gardens south of the river. I have seen four in the last week – two flying over our garden, and two in the nearby streets. They seem to do better in the suburbs than the countryside – maybe because of agricultural pesticides?

    1. Thank you so much for this news! More and more animals prefer cities over the countryside because of food and safety (from pesticides): swans, foxes, bees, and now stag beetles. This is very interesting to read. If I plan to come over to London in June of July next year, I will return to this comment and contact you. Many thanks again and best wishes to you and your stag beetles.

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