• 32 mm

Stag beetle

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Lucanus capreolus (Pseudolucanus capreolus in some classifications), an occasional visitor to my windows in mid-summer. The sound they make hitting the glass is pretty distinctive--this one came in about 9:00 p.m. and I placed it on a craft foam stage for a photo session. Light from a twin-head flash was diffused through a modified 1-gallon plastic jug. (I was pretty happy with this effect, though it could still be softer.)
These are large beetles--length about 32 mm without the mandibles, 38 mm with them.

Victor W. Fazio III, Alan Dias Barros, and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. pieceoflace photography 45 months ago | reply

    At 38mm that is big Patrick. Mice macro, but I'd hate to look down at my leg and see one of these things crawling up it. I hope you are well and having a nice day. Wishing you a great weekend too...enjoy!

  2. entomopixel 45 months ago | reply

    fine work! these are beautiful creatures, and you got a great image of it here.

  3. DoctorDaddy 45 months ago | reply

    Stop with the scary bugs, already.

  4. DoctorDaddy 45 months ago | reply

    Are you making a tent out of the milk jug?

  5. DoctorDaddy 45 months ago | reply

    What an elegant creature, really. Lovely shot.

  6. pieceoflace photography 45 months ago | reply

    Thank you Patrick, for sharing with the group.

    green fly award
    Congratulations !
    This truly is a Fantastic Insect Photograph !
    Fantastic Insect Photography ( Invite only)

  7. cotinis 44 months ago | reply

    I use chilling all the time--I've found that it very rarely causes problems for the insect, though a few do not tolerate it. A chilled insect is, of course, not quite "natural", and that is not ideal, but many of the insects I look at (beetles, moths) are active only at night, so any well-lit photo is not "natural" either. (Many beetles will simply race off an tunnel under the nearest object if placed in the open where one can get a photograph--their natural habitat makes photos impossible.) I'm mostly interested in taxonomy, and for many things, the only way to get a diagnostic photo is to chill or make a specimen. I've also occasionally glued a beetle to a stage with a piece of candle wax--if done carefully, there is no harm to the beetle! When you are trying to get a detail shot of tarsal claws so that you can key the critter, this sort of thing cannot be avoided.

    However in this case, I simply placed the beetle, unchilled, on a white piece of craft foam in the open on my kitchen counter. The big stag beetles, and some others, seem to be disoriented by this and take up a defensive posture, stiff with mandibles up, or sometimes they play dead. This one feigned death for quite a while, tilted at an odd angle and motionless. After about 45 minutes it straightened up and assumed a better pose.
    I have tried placing them on natural substrates, such as logs or leaf litter, and their usual response is to race off, making photography very difficult.

  8. EncyclopediaOfLife 32 months ago | reply

    Encyclopedia of Life curator Patrick Coin has trusted your image on the EOL site

  9. EncyclopediaOfLife 32 months ago | reply

    Patrick Coin commented on your image on the Encyclopedia of Life site:
    Distinctive species, see references in caption.

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