Lucanus cervus

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).