Common Name: Stag beetle
Description: Stag beetles are large, robust beetles typically dark brown in color. They have the club of the antennae with the segments separated rather than compact like scarab beetles. Males have elongated mandibles that are used to joust with rival males.
Not really aggressive to humans and have no known venomous traits or other harmful attributes. They love to live in wooded areas like rotting tree stumps or wood chips.
Why the National Geographic-like report? Because I saw an infestation of these critters all over not one, but three, of Orem’s playgrounds and parks where our children play.
After I made this frightful discovery I scooped two of them up and brought them home for further analysis. One appeared to be female and missing a leg and the other with the larger pincers appeared to be male with aggressive passions for the female who was trapped in the jar with him.
Specimens in my jar
I then had to complete my observation of them by allowing the male to pinch me. It took some time and some coercion but he did. It felt like getting bitten by an ant, or being pinched with tweezers. Apparently these things can grow up to 4” long. After I had completed all of my scientific observations, I released the happy couple back into the wild into an undisclosed neighbor’s yard to multiply and replenish their property. Isn’t nature amazing?