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Male Stag beetles getting ready to fly

male stag opening its wings, DHF 2001Stag beetles go through very interesting stages when taking off.
The best picture of the 2001 flying season was this male stag beetle on the right, photographed by my husband, who spotted it in our garden making several attempts to take off. It was just flexing its wings, notice how wide it is his wing span.

The previous year I captured some very unusual postures of a male stag beetle on the pavement of Queen's Road, Colchester, Essex, England; taken on the 12 June 2000 after 21:00 hrs - a very busy night for beetles who were flying all over the place.
I think that this one bumped on to me and soon carried off. I am grateful that it just gave me time to get off the bike and take some photos.
It was my best beetling night ever - lots of stag beetles flying around some trees.

male stag with wings showing a bit male stag taking off

During the 2001 flying season my friend Janet Bullard also took a couple of very interesting snap shots at the taking off stage. Her pictures show the shadows which makes the stag beetle look a bit weird,

male stag with wings showing a bit male stag flying towards the camera

Please note that these two sets of pictures were taken with simple compact cameras. It would be nice if somebody out there took better pictures of the early stages of taking off.
Stop press - During the 2005 flying season András Andrási has been able to do it, click here to see a couple of very nice shots.

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