Despite being smaller than it’s more well-known relative, the Lesser Stag Beetle, Dorcus parallelipipedus, is large, up to 3 cm in length with large jaws. It is often found throughout summer in woodland, parks and gardens wherever there are old, rotting trees that it’s larvae live in and feed on.
The females, as shown here, have smaller mandibles than the males. Unlike the males, the entire body of the females, including the mandibles, is strongly punctured and shiny, and they also have two closely-spaced tubercles on the head.
Eggs are laid in rotting wood above ground level, with larvae taking one to two years to mature. Adults can live for up to two years and may be found sheltering overwinter in plant pots in the garden.