The stag beetle is arguably the most spectacular looking beetle in Britain; the male looks like something from a prehistoric age. The giant antler-like mandibles are used in courtship displays, and wrestling with other males. Although rather fearsome in appearance, the mandibles cannot be closed with any force. You are more likely to be nipped sharply by the female stag beetle, a smaller insect than the male that lacks the huge jaws. The stag beetle, superficially, appears black all over but, in certain lights, it can be seen to have dark maroon or brown wing cases. The impressive mandibles also have a reddish sheen to them. The wing cases are glossy; the head and thorax are a dull black.
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