This collection of Lucanidae is made of male and female exemplars. Most of them (except those not in very good condition) come from a breeding we made of them during a summer
in Tuscany. The adult Lucanidae live only few months, though they need many (usually five) years to grow up.
All the specimens shown here belong to the the species Lucanus cervus; such a name is due to the enormous mandibolae of the male, which look like the horns of a cervus. It's one of the biggest european Coleoptera; our biggest specimen has a size of 8cm, while usually many specimens (in Tuscany) had a size of 5cm or even less. Although the male might seem offensive because of its big mandibolae, actually it's quite harmless because it doesn't have the necessary muscles. At the contrary, the small female can bite very hard.
These insects usually appear in the dusk, and the males can be observed flying (they are rather bad fliers, though, since they have such a big body). In most books it's written that their favourite food is the lynph of the trees, although we fed them with soft and sweet fruits (e.g. bananas) and they seemed to be very happy with it!
110084 bytes - - This is an upper view of the entire collection of Lucanidae
48033 bytes - - This is a male Lucanus cervus. It's the biggest of the collection and it has very developed mandibolae.
26140 bytes - - This is a middle-sized male Lucanus cervus.
49907 bytes - - This is also a male Lucanus cervus.
22245 bytes - - This too is a male Lucanus cervus.
17645 bytes - - This is a female Lucanus cervus.
6362 bytes - - This is a small female Lucanus cervus.It's rather in a bad condition.