Golden stag beetle Lamprima aurata, copyright Fir0002.

Belongs within: Scarabaeoidea.
Contains: Figulus, Lissotes.

The Lucanidae, stag beetles, are a group of scarabaeoid beetles that are typically associated with decaying wood on which they feed as larvae. Adults may feed at flowers or from sap flows. Most exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism with males having greatly enlarged, curving mandibles that are used in combat between individuals (Ratcliffe 2002).

Stag beetles have been divided between several subfamilies with the Lucaninae characterised by an elongate, weakly flattened body form, geniculate antennae, and widely separated fore coxae. The eye is distinctly divided by a canthus in the tribes Lucanini and Dorcini but nearly entire in the Platycerini. Lucanini have the elytra smooth or only minutely and irregularly punctate whereas in Dorcus they are distinctly striate-punctate (Ratcliffe 2002). Larvae of the South African genus Colophon live among and feed on the roots of shrubby vegetation (Moore & Cassis 1992).

The Syndesinae have a cylindrical body form, closely placed fore coxae, and non-geniculate antennae with only a weakly lamellate club (Ratcliffe 2002). The Lampriminae are often metallic-coloured stag beetles with weakly geniculate antennae. They are most diverse in Australasia with the genus Streptocerus found in southern South America (Bouchard 2014).

The Barrington Tops stag beetle
Published 25 July 2020

The stag beetles of the Lucanidae are among the most dramatic of all beetles. They are large, glossy, and the adult males often have greatly enlarged mandibles that are used in conflict with other males. As larvae, lucanids are found feeding on rotting wood; adults may feed on nectar and are largely nocturnal. Australia is home to its share of lucanid diversity though the need for suitable food for larvae means that they are mostly restricted to damper regions of the country. As a result, many Australian stag beetles have limited ranges, rendering them vulnerable if not (in this time of rising temperatures and reduced rainfalls) actively endangered. One such species is the Barrington stag beetle Lissapterus tetrops.

Female (left) and major male Lissapterus tetrops, from Coleptera7777.

The Barrington Tops is a mountain range forming part of the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales, direct north from Newcastle. The Barrington stag beetle was described from this range in 1916 by Arthur Lea, one of Australia’s most prolific coleopterologists, and is restricted to rain forests at the upper heights of the range. Lissapterus is an endemic Australian genus of flightless stag beetles distinguished from other members of the family by the shape of the antennae. The terminal club that is usually characteristic of the antennae of stag beetles is less defined in Lissapterus with the last few segments of the short antennae being little larger than the rest. Like most other species in the genus, L. tetrops is almost entirely black, only becoming slightly reddish on the legs and antennae. It grows about an inch in length, males and females being not that dissimilar in size. Lissapterus tetrops differs from other species in the genus in lacking foveae on the pronotum and (mostly) on the head, being relatively sparsely punctate dorsally, and having the eye completely divided by a canthus. Major males have long curved mandibles with a pair of teeth internally near the midpoint, placed one above the other. Minor males and females have much smaller, more ordinary looking mandibles.

The natural history of this species is little known but it presumably resembles that of other species in the genus. Adults are found under rotting logs partially buried in the forest floor that provide food for the larvae. Adults may live for a long time, potentially up to about a year, though it is unclear what exactly they feed on. Other species of Lissapterus are mostly found in disjunct locations up and down the Great Dividing Range, their populations presumably becoming separated as the warming and drying of Australia’s climate as it moved northwards forced them out of the lowlands. As the climate continues to become warmer and drier, these beetles may find themselves having to retreat higher and higher, and eventually they may find themselves with no further to go.

Systematics of Lucanidae
<==Lucanidae [Lucanides, Pectinicornia]
| |--Ceruchus MacLeay 1819 [Ceruchini]R02
| | `--C. piceusR02
| |--Sinodendron Hellwig 1894 [incl. Ligniperda Fabricius 1801; Sinodendrini]R02
| | |--S. cylindricumL02
| | `--S. rugosumR02
| `--SyndesiniR02
| |--PsilodonR02
| `--Syndesus Macleay 1819MC92
| |--*S. cornutus (Fabricius 1801)MC92 (see below for synonymy)
| `--S. macleayi Boileau 1905MC92
| |--StreptocerusB14
| |--DendroblaxB14
| |--HololamprinaB14
| |--Phalacrognathus Macleay 1885MC92
| | `--*P. muelleri (Macleay 1885) [=Lamprima muelleri; incl. P. westwoodi Shipp 1893]MC92
| |--Homolamprima Macleay 1885MC92
| | `--*H. crenulata Macleay 1885MC92
| `--Lamprima Latreille 1807 [incl. Neolamprima Gestro 1875]MC92
| |--*L. aenea (Fabricius 1792)MC92 (see below for synonymy)
| |--L. adolphinae (Gestro 1879)B14 [=*Neolamprima adolphinaeMC92]
| |--L. aurata Latreille 1817 (see below for synonymy)MC92
| |--L. imberbis Carter 1926MC92
| |--L. insularis Macleay 1885MC92
| |--L. latreillii Macleay 1819MC92 (see below for synonymy)
| |--L. micardi Reiche 1841 (see below for synonymy)MC92
| |--L. nigripennis Macleay 1885Mas86
| `--L. varians Burmeister 1847 [incl. L. cultridens Burmeister 1847, L. minima Macleay 1885]MC92
| i. s.: Chasiognathus grantii Stephens 1831B14
| HomoderinusB14
| CladognathusMas86
| |--C. inclinatusB66
| `--C. limbatus Waterh. 1887M96
| Gnaphaloryx aperMac86
| PycnosiphorusM78
| Cacostomus Newman 1840 [incl. Lepidodes Westwood 1841]MC92
| `--*C. squamosus Newman 1840 [incl. Lucanus (*Lepidodes) rotundicollis Westwood 1841]MC92
| Eucarteria Lea 1914MC92
| `--*E. floralis Lea 1914MC92
| Hoplogonus Parry 1875MC92
| `--*H. simsoni Parry 1875MC92
| Sphaenognathus Buquet 1838MC92 [=Sphenognathus (l. c.) non Schoenherr 1840M78, Sphoenognathus (l. c.)M78]
| |--*S. prionoides Buquet 1838MC92
| `--S. queenslandicus Moore 1878MC92
| Dorculus Didier 1930MC92
| |--*D. bouvieri Didier 1930MC92
| `--D. difformipes Didier 1930MC92
| Pseudodorcus Parry 1870MC92
| |--*P. hydrophiloides (Hope & Westwood 1845) (see below for synonymy)MC92
| `--P. nitidus Didier 1926MC92 [=Dorcus nitidusM78; incl. D. laevis Arrow 1943MC92]
| EurytrachelusMas86
| |--E. arfakianusMas86
| `--E. platymelusB66
| ColophonB14
| |--C. haughtoni Barnard 1929B14
| |--C. izardiB14
| `--C. primosiB14
| CyclommatusB14
| |--C. albersiiB14
| |--C. elaphus Gestro 1881B14
| `--C. metalliferB14
| NigidiusMas86
| |--N. formosanus Bates 1866B66
| |--N. obesusB66
| |--N. parryi Bates 1866B66
| `--N. passaliformis Benesh 1943B43
| OdontolabisB14
| |--O. carinatusB66
| |--O. cuvera Hope 1842B14
| |--O. mouhotiB14
| `--O. sinensisRD77
| HomoderusB14
| |--H. gladiatorB14
| |--H. johnstoniB14
| |--H. mellyi Parry 1862B14
| `--H. taverniersiB14
| Serrognathus Motschulsky 1861MC92
| |--‘Lucanus’ titanus Boisduval 1835 [incl. *Serrognathus castanicolor Motschulsky 1861]MC92
| |--S. australicus Bomans 1985MC92
| |--S. intermediusGE05
| `--S. wickhami (Waterhouse 1894) [=Eurytrachelus wickhami]MC92
| Prosopocoilus Hope & Westwood 1845 [incl. Metopodontus Hope & Westwood 1845]MC92
| |--*P. cavifrons (Hope & Westwood 1845) [=Lucanus cavifrons]MC92
| |--P. bison (Olivier 1789) [=Lucanus bison]MC92
| |--‘Lucanus’ downesii Hope & Westwood 1845 [=L. (*Metopodontus) downesii]MC92
| |--P. duplodentatus Benesh 1943B43
| |--P. rubens Didier 1927B43
| `--P. torresensis (Deyrolle 1870)MC92 [=Metopodontus torresensisMC92, Cladognathus torresensisMas86]
| Rhyssonotus Macleay 1819MC92
| |--R. foveolatus (Thunberg 1806)ZS10, MC92 (see below for synonymy)
| |--R. costatus Carter 1929MC92
| |--R. grandis Lea 1915MC92
| |--R. jugularis Westwood 1863MC92
| |--R. laticeps Macleay 1885MC92
| |--R. parallelus Deyrolle 1881MC92
| `--R. politus Carter 1921MC92
| Aegus Macleay 1819 [incl. Paraegus Gahan 1888]MC92
| |--*A. chelifer Macleay 1819MC92 [=Lucanus cheliferB35]
| |--A. capitatusB66
| |--A. formosae Bates 1866B66
| |--A. glaber Parry 1864Mac86
| |--A. jansoni Boileau 1905 [incl. A. subbasilis Lea 1914]MC92
| |--A. laevicollisB66
| |--A. listeri (Gahan 1888) [=*Paraegus listeri]MC92
| `--A. platyodon Parry 1862Mac86
| Lissapterus Deyrolle 1986MC92
| |--*L. howittanus (Westwood 1863) [=Dorcus howittanus, Lissotes howittanus]MC92
| |--L. darlingtoni Bomans 1986MC92
| |--L. grammicus (Lea 1919) [=Lissotes grammicus; incl. Lissa. hopsoni Carter 1921]MC92
| |--L. notestinei Bomans 1986MC92
| |--L. obesus Bomans 1986MC92
| |--L. ogivus Bomans 1986MC92
| |--L. pelorides (Westwood 1855) [=Dorcus pelorides; incl. L. montivagus Benesh 1943]MC92
| `--L. tetrops Lea 1916MC92
| FigulusMC92
| LissotesMC92
|--Dorcus MacLeay 1819 [Dorcinae, Dorcini]R02
| |--D. helmsiO81
| `--D. parallelopipedusE30
|--Platycerini [Platycerinae]R02
| |--Platyceroides Benesh 1946R02
| |--Platyceropsis Benesh 1946R02
| | `--P. keeniR02
| `--Platycerus Geoffroy 1762 [incl. Systenocerus Weise 1883, Systenus Sharp & Muir 1912]R02
| |--P. caraboidesG20
| `--P. foveicollis Dupont in Boisduval 1835B35
`--Lucanus Scopoli 1763 [incl. Hexaphyllus Mulsant 1839 non Dejean 1821, Pseudolucanus Hope 1845]R02
|--L. capreolusG20
|--L. caraboidesL02
|--L. cervusL02
|--L. elaphus Fabricius 1775B14
|--L. gamunus Sawada & Watanabe 1960I92
|--L. metallifer Boisduval 1835B35
`--L. parallelipipedusL02

Lucanidae incertae sedis:
|--N. castanopterusB66
|--N. championiB66
|--N. laticollisB43
|--N. sinicusB66
`--N. swinhoei Parry in Bates 1866B66
Chiasognathus [Chiasognathinae]RD77
`--C. grantiiRD77
Calcodes maculosus (Didier 1930) [=Neolucanus maculosus]B43
|--P. branczicki Nonfried 1905B43
|--P. dauricus (Motschulsky 1880)I92
|--P. subaeneusB43
`--P. tokui Kurosawa 1975I92

*Lamprima aenea (Fabricius 1792)MC92 [=Lethrus aeneusMC92, Lucanus aeneusL02; incl. L. subrugosa Hope & Westwood 1845MC92, L. viridis Erichsom 1842MC92]

Lamprima aurata Latreille 1817 [incl. Lucanus aeneus var. coeruleus Donovan in Parry 1864 (n. n.), La. cuprea Latreille 1817, La. fulgida Boisduval 1835, La. aurata mariae Lea 1910, La. puncticollis Dejean 1836, La. rutilans Erichson 1842, La. schreibersii Hope & Westwood 1845, La. tasmaniae Hope & Westwood 1845]MC92

Lamprima latreillii Macleay 1819MC92 [incl. L. amplicollis Thomson 1862MC92, L. krefftii Macleay 1871MC92, L. mandibularis Macleay 1885MC92, Neolamprima mandibularisMas86, L. pygmaea Macleay 1819MC92, L. sericea Macleay 1885MC92, L. splendens Erichson 1842MC92, L. violacea Macleay 1885MC92]

Lamprima micardi Reiche 1841 [incl. L. nigricollis Hope & Westwood 1845, L. purpurascens Hope & Westwood 1845, L. sumptuosa Hope & Westwood 1845]MC92

*Pseudodorcus hydrophiloides (Hope & Westwood 1845) [=Lucanus (Dorcus) hydrophiloides; incl. Dorcus carbonarius Westwood 1863]MC92

Rhyssonotus foveolatus (Thunberg 1806)ZS10, MC92 [=Lucanus foveolatusMC92; incl. L. nebulosus Kirby 1818MC92, *Rhyssonotus nebulosusMC92]

*Syndesus cornutus (Fabricius 1801)MC92 [=Sinodendron cornutusMC92; incl. Lucanus parvus Donovan 1805MC92, Lamprima parvaB35]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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