If you see one, or if you come across one of them at a fairly close distance, don’t be too afraid, and above all, don’t kill it: kite lucanes are certainly shaped insects. quite intimidating and scary at first glance, and yet we assure you that they are not only harmless to us humans, but play an important role in the ecosystem they usually inhabit. For this and other reasons, don’t treat them like ordinary bugs.
The kite stag beetle ( Lucanus cervus ) generally inhabits urban areas and hardwoods during the summer period , after a long period of larval stage in autumn and winter. The kite stag beetle is considered to be the largest beetle in the European area, easily recognizable by its shape, slow and rather noisy flight and the famous toothed jaws.
Both males and females of kites have these toothed jaws which make them particularly characteristic ; males have them more pronounced than females, as they often use them to compete with other males of their species; still with regard to these individuals, they can reach even 8 cm in length .
Kite stag beetles are not only harmless to humans, but also useful to the ecosystem; when they are still in the larval state, they eat the decaying wood, thus producing a humus rich in many nutrients ; once they reach the adult stage, in summer, lucanes eat mainly sweet substances, such as the sap of fruit trees.
It is precise because their natural habitat is very often that of deciduous forests that deforestation and the increase in human activities put this beetle at risk of extinction. It is therefore essential not to compromise the natural decomposition process of the wood of forest trees: it is a nutrient-rich food for the kite stag beetle.
Despite its appearance and pronounced jaws, the next time you meet one, don’t push it away, and most importantly, don’t kill it it is extraordinarily valuable to the natural processes of the ecosystem they live in. helping to keep it lush.