Which rules do you have to follow during a stag beetle search?

  • No taking or collecting of stag beetles, both are prohibited by law!
  • Beetles in distress can be helped and touched for this purpose. Note that both males and females can pinch quite severely with their mandibles.
  • Distressed beetles include those that lie on their backs on slippery surfaces, float in water (watering can), or are encountered on a busy road.
  • Always release the beetles in the immediate vicinity of where they were found at the base of the trunk of a tree or bush. There they are protected and can reorient themselves.
  • There is no greater harm than taking the stag beetle found in the home garden to the distant forest!
  • Stag beetles are exposed to many hazards during their above-ground life, which lasts only a few weeks. Injuries are common, the loss of a leg, feeler or a hole in the cover wing is not really a reason to intervene, they can still cope with it.
  • The beetles often remain completely motionless in danger and can even survive longer involuntary water stays without damage by decaying into rigidity, this means a dead looking beetle does not have to be really dead!
  • Even truly dead beetles must be left to the natural cycle.


  • Your attention and proper eye for the beetle are the most important and usually already sufficient, since they are large beetles.
  • Binoculars and flashlight, if necessary magnifying glass (feelers) and camera can be helpful to you.
  • Inform yourself about the possibilities of confusion with the female.