They are easily recognised by their large oversized mandibles which resemble the horns of a Stag.
Their larvae live underground for between 3-5 years feeding on rotting wood and the adult beetles emerge in late May and June and only live for a few weeks to mate.
Both adults and larvae are completely harmless.
The only confusion species is the Lesser Stag Beetle but they do not have the large mandibles of the male Stag Beetle. They are also uniformly black whilst the female Stag Beetle has shiny brown or maroon wing cases.
Other news: a Hobby hunting dragonflies down at Cholsey Marsh today. Per Gerry Sexton.
Stag Beetle photo courtesy Sian Andrews.