Section I 

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Dung beetles, Chafers and Stags


There is not much I can do to improve the INCREDIBLE information dispensed by the Scarabaeoidea recording scheme and the affiliated British Scarabs website

We have a decent number of species in the UK but only these species routinely occur at light traps.

Instead of reinventing the wheel I have (with permission) posted the resources freely available on the web. 



For Geotrupes get the following shots:

Dorsal view                                           underside of abdominal segment hairs                  Jaw edge if possible

Taking Photos

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One of the larger species of beetle to fing in a trap, affectionately known as may or doodle bugs. They are much larger than the smaller and daintier

Serica brunnea. There are 2 native species, both attracted to light.

If you happen to be trapping in the North, look out for the rarer Melolontha hippocastani, and make sure you record it if you do!




These are the largest group of dung beetles in the UK, and have recently had some name changes, so be aware when searching the web. 

For example: Aphodius rufipes is now called Acrossus rufipes.

For all things Aphodius, British Scarabs have got you covered.

Theres even a key to all of the UK species



Acrossus rufipes is by far the most common dung beetle attracted to light, often in large numbers. Its large size and semicircular clypeus (front of head) makes it instantly recognisable after a bit of practice.



Stag beetles: Lucanidae 

Most people will be able to spot a stag beetle off a mile away. We have 2 large species that are attraced to light in the UK, The impressive Lucanus cervus with the males mahogony antlers and the smaller (but equally exciting) lesser stag beetle, Dorcus parallelipipedus



Lucanus cervus


ID Features


Elytra (wingcases) always dark brown and glossy

Males with large antler like mandibles

Males: 25-92mm,

Females: 27-50mm

There are some great pictures of both males and females HERE

Dorcus parallelipipedus


ID Features

Elytra (wingcase) always black, and not glossy 

Both males and females with smaller mandibles


Male with more transverse head  than female