Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Lucanus cervus - The Stag Beetle

Range & Status

Widely recorded over southern and eastern England, but with the main strongholds in the Thames and Solent basins and not uncommon in parts of these areas.

Regional Distribution

Clark (1966) lists a number of Cornish records: St. Buryan, Polperro, Mount Edgcumbe, Saltash and most recently Truro in 1964. It seems unlikely that any of these refer to a resident population as this is one of the most conspicuous of British insects and would not easily escape the attention of naturalists.

Habitat & Ecology

The larvae develop in decayed roots of old stumps for about four years. Adults feed on fruit and sap; and fly mainly in the evening.


Removal of older generation trees and their stumps.


Probably not resident in Cornwall and so specific conservation measures not appropriate until proof of its residence is forthcoming. This species is listed on the UK BAP Priority Species list (2007), and was on the short list (with action plan) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995).


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.