Stag Beetle Discovery

Written by Chad Thomack
    Monday, 27 July 2020
Stag Beetle Discovery

Summer camp is buzzing this year and the campers are making discoveries that continue to amaze me. There are so many interesting parts to nature and my first week of camp we discovered a particularly interesting insect. I present to you: the ever iconic stag beetle.

We found a pair of these beetles and named them Ted and Jessica. They were hiding under some logs and I’m sure they were not pleased. The campers instantly took to them and “adopted” them for the week. The campers made a mini habitat in an ice cream bucket filled with all the needs of this lovely beetle. The buckets were carried with us wherever we went and during down times, the campers were exploring and respectfully playing with the beetles. 

The campers couldn’t get enough of them! Ted and Jessica were quite docile, moving slowly and clinging onto anything that was in front of them. Campers discovered that the beetles had very strong legs and sharp hooks on their appendages. These creatures are known for their large pinchers, but they never really used them against us. In fact, they are mostly used for defending territories and for the male to show other males their power.

Stag Beetle 2

You never know what you will find when out exploring nature. It is something that I am always grateful to do when time permits. Being a camp counselor does give me this opportunity and better yet, I get to share it with young minds. Not only were the beetles cool to look at, they also taught the campers respect for nature, empathy (I heard some campers regulate others when they were not being as gentle as they could), and that nature can provide as much entertainment as you want to find. No doubt we are living in challenging times, but getting outside sure can help relieve some stress and let the mind wonder.

Photo Credit: Chad Thomack
Chad Thomack

Chad Thomack

Chad Thomack, Environmental Educator, has been a staff member of the Urban Ecology Center for over 15 years.  Chad received a biology/wildlife degree from UW Stevens Point and has been teaching about nature ever since.  His hobbies include outdoor adventures like kayaking, mountain biking, trail running and cross country skiing, as well as exercising, reading, playing video games, journaling and gardening.


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