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Lucanus Cervus is the best-known species of a stag beetle (family Lucanidae) in Western Europe, and it’s one of my favourite species of beetle. The males have enlarged mandibles(horns) and are larger than the females. Although the male’s jaws seem threatening, they are too weak to be harmful. Nevertheless, females can inflict a painful bite. The resemblance of the male’s jaws to the horns – and their use in combat – gives the species its common name. Interestingly, Lucanus Cervus sometimes appears in art (Albrecht Dürer, Georg Hoefnagel, Peter Binoit, Nguyễn Hùng Cường), children’s fairy tales and literature, often as an insect king or knight.

I decided to draw a male of Lucanus Cervus to honour its elegant look and to pay attention to the existence of this fantastic beetle.

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