MAR 24, 2020 4:33 PM PDT

This Beetle Climbs Tall Trees to Toss Others Over the Edge

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Different animals exhibit all kinds of different behaviors when searching for mates in the wilderness, but perhaps one of the most fascinating belongs to that of the male stag beetle.

The stag beetle begins its burdensome venture by climbing the trunk of a tall tree to reach the uppermost branches, which is where the female stag beetles like to hide. This might not seem like much of a feat, but in the part of the world where most stag beetles exist, trees easily reach 25 meters or more in height.

If the climb wasn’t enough of a challenge, the male stag beetle soon finds himself surrounded by other males that made the same venture for similar prerogatives. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the only way for this particular male stag beetle to ensure reproductive success is to do away with the competition in the area – so he does just that.

Taking advantage of his super long and claw-shaped jaws, the male stag beetle approaches other males and ‘plucks’ them from the branches. Once the other male loses its grip, the winner tosses the loser over the tree branch, causing it to plummet back to the Earth. Most beetles survive the fall thanks to their armor, but it’s still a long way down.

Eventually, the male stag beetle finds what he was looking for – a female worth mating with. After some persuasion, the male traps the female with his jaws and begins the copulation process. Afterward, in a somewhat surprising move, the male stag beetle takes grip of his new ladyfriend and tosses her over the branch.

Such poor manners...

Related: These beetles protect themselves from predators by spraying acid

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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