|Sydenham Hill Woods - 4/4/11|
I was quite excited to find this Lesser Stag beetle in Sydenham Hill woods yesterday. It is a fairly common species across much of England and can often be found in old piles of rotten wood where the larvae feed on the rotting wood. The lesser stag beetle will not usually grow larger than 30mm where as the Stage beetle will not be smaller than 30mm. The Females are similar looking but can be distinguished as the Lesser SB has blacker elytra (the horn like antler part). Male Lesser Stag Beetles unlike the Stag Beetle do not have enlarged elytra. The nocturnal adults breed in rotting wood and may be seen flying around sunset, normally only in the summer. London and Sydenham hill woods in particular are hot spots for both species of Stag beetle and well worth a visit.
Have a look at the Sydenham Hill Woods on London Wildlife Trust website.