Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Seen today while hiking the Cape Fear River Trail.

Lucanus elaphus a.k.a. the Giant Stag Beetle. No scale in the photos, but it was about 3 inches long.

This striking insect is easily among North America’s most distinctive and recognizable species by virtue of the enormously super-sized mandibles sported by the males. Its fearsome appearance belies the true nature of this harmless beetle, which spends its days feeding on sap that flows from wounds on the trunks and roots of trees

Males use their massive mandibles in combat with other males, not for “biting,” but rather as tools to pry and lift their adversaries before dropping them to the ground.
As a kid, I always imagined these were so terrifying and rare, that if I saw one, it would be the last thing I ever saw before I was decapitated and ground into paste. Plus, they are constantly stealing your energon cubes.

 But, hey, I'm still here!

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