Creatures that just love Suffolk
Stag beetle larvae live underground for several years, feeding on rotting wood. When they reach full size they build an underground cocoon, inside which they turn into an adult beetle. Often, the first sign of an emergent male, which can be up to 70mm long, is their impressive mandibles poking from a hole in the ground.
Males are most likely seen in flight on a warm summer evening between May and August as they search for a female. After mating, the female, who lacks the formidable-looking jaws of the male, searches for underground decaying wood and tunnels downwards through the soil to lay her eggs.
It can take up to five years for the stag beetle’s larvae to develop into adults. They live as adults for only a few months in the summer in order to mate.