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Protruded organs

Trodden female with an everted mycangium

Photo by Maria Fremlin. Colchester, Essex, England. June 24 2012.

This female seems to have been crushed in such a way that her protruded organs looked rather intriguing. Did they reveal the mycangium?

To get the answer to this question, I had to seek the expert help of Dr. Masahiko Tanahashi [*] who confirmed my suspicions and generously explained where the mycangium was in relation to other organs, see below.

Protruded organs of a female stag beetle

Close up photo of the organs.

Close up photo of the organs. The bars indicate the location of the mycangium, ovipositor and membranous epithelium. Not quite certain about the gut though.

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To clarify things a bit further, below is a view of a dissected teneral female, that is, freshly eclosed female. I decided to dissect her because she had faulty wings, hence no chance of survival.

Dissected stag beetle female

Dissected teneral female on millimetric paper, 2 mm smallest division.

Note the mycangium is a pale colour. It will darken with age. Also, the hindgut is empty, but not so the midgut.

Next time that you find a crushed female stag beetle, do have a good look at her! And send me some photos, this subject is worth expanding!

Many thanks to Dr. Masahiko Tanahashi for helping with the interpretation of the trodden female photo.

[*] - Tanahashi, M., Kubota, K., Matsushita, N.& Togashi, K. (2010) - Discovery of mycangia and the associated xylose-fermenting yeasts in stag beetles (Coleoptera: Lucanidae). Naturwissenschaften 97: 311-317.

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Last modified: Wed June 10 2020

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