Female stag beetle

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2011_06_07001We found this female stag beetle in our garden being lined up as an afternoon snack by one of our chickens. A lucky escape for her and the cause of great excitement in our household. A 100mm macro lens, a tripod and a careful check that the background wasn’t too distracting and she was recorded for posterity. A lovely moment of very local natural history. However, on ethical grounds, should we have intervened or just let the chickens have their treat?

Stag beetles are an endangered species and are currenlty confined in the UK to the south and south-east of the country. The larva takes up to six years to mature and during this time lives inside dead wood. Once they emerge as adults they only live for a few weeks. The female has much smaller, but more powerful, mandibles than the male.

Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Lens: 100mm
Exposure: 1/350 sec, f11
ISO: 500

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