Entomological Society of Latvia, the Section of Coleopterology
Private address: Praulienas iela 4-35, LV-1021, Riga, Latvia / Lettland; E-mail:

Abstract: Lucanidae (Coleoptera) fauna of the Baltic Sea region and adjacent territories was analysed. Data on biology, distribution and protection of species is given.

Key words: Coleoptera, Lucanidae, Baltic Sea region, fauna.


The area of this work includes the following European countries: Denmark (DK), Germany (D), Poland (PL), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Estonia (EE), Belarus (BY), Karelia Region (NW Russia, RU), Finland (FI), Sweden (S) and Norway (N) - Fig.1.

Fig. 1. The area of investigations.

Countries of Western and Northern Europe such as DK, D, FI, S, N have a natural environment which has been largely destroyed by the long and intensive human economic activities. In these countries there are remnants of biotopes that have not altered greatly from their natural state, and most of them have now been designated as protected areas. In Eastern Europe (and particularly in the republics of the former USSR), the natural world has remained largely undamaged as a consequence of the non-intensive agricultural methods practised over many years. In these countries the situation regarding primary biotopes is not so problematical as in Western Europe.

Stag beetles develop in the rotten wood of fallen or old trees. Because of this close connection with old and dead trees, Lucanidae occur in old forests and parks. Lucanidae species are more common in the countries of the eastern part of the Baltic region (PL, LT, LV, EE, BY, RU) because the environment is better for them there.


There are not problems to identified imago of all species of the Baltic Sea region. But it is not so easy to identified larvae. T.-E. LEILER (1950) gives an key to identification of Swedish stag beetles' larvae in his work. I include figures of terminal segments of some Lucanidae species from our region - Fig.2.

Fig. 2. Terminal segments of larvae of Lucanidae (upper row in caudal view, lower row in ventral view).

K. HURKA (1978) gives identification key to genera of Lucanids' larvae, too.