IT’S the UK’s largest land beetle – and one of its most endangered.

The stag beetle, also known as Lucanus cervus and classed as a 'priority species', is native to Britain and has an average lifespan of three to seven years.

Graham Chubb sent in his brilliant photos of a stag beetle he spotted at Fort Victoria Country Park in Yarmouth on Saturday (June 4). See photos above

Weighing in at around four grams, a male can reach 7.5cm in length, including mandibles/jaws, and females around 5cm.

Adult stag beetles do not eat, but they do drink sweet fluids, such as liquid from decomposing fruit and tree sap.

They spend most of their life underground as larvae, only emerging for a few weeks during summer to find a mate and reproduce.

Due to its endangered status, wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has previously called on Islanders to record sightings of these spectacular looking creatures as part of an ongoing study.

Isle of Wight County Press: The stag beetle can grow to be up to 7.5cm in length.The stag beetle can grow to be up to 7.5cm in length.

Top stag beetle tips for gardeners:

  1. One of the major problems facing stag beetles is a lack of rotting wood to lay eggs in and for larvae to feed on. By creating a log pile, you can provide beetles with a habitat for the future.
  2. Leave old stumps of wood alone, as these provide the perfect habitat and food supply. If you want to make the stumps more attractive – try growing climbing plants up them, such as clematis.
  3. Be vigilant when mowing your lawn, and stay alert for predators during warm evenings when stag beetles are flying. Also, if you see a dead-looking beetle in water, take it out - they often revive.