T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Beetle (Earl's Stag) Dendroblax earlii

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthopoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Lucanidae
Subfamily: Lampriminae
Genus: Dendroblax
Species: Dendroblax earlii
Synonyms: D. acutangulus
Common name: Earl's Stag Beetle

Dendroblax earlii is one of the most unusual insects in New Zealand, an endemic genus and species and only representative of its tribe (a taxonomic rank between family and genus). Adults and larvae of D. earlii are usually found in areas of predominantly indigenous vegetation or places where the forests been cleared and large rotting logs remain on the ground. The beetle has been collected from both North and South Islands.
Dendroblax earlii are are usually associated with native trees but on several occasions have been found inside hardwood poles. In 1969, sections of three hardwood telephone poles with extensive insect damage from ground level to their bases were examined by the Forest Research Institute. The poles had been erected at Te Pohue on the Napier Taupo Road at 388 m.a.s.l., at least 35 years earlier. Damage consisted of longitudinal grooves open to the outer surface and extending 8.2 cm radially in to the pole. Adult remains of D. earlii were found in the sample. The food preferences of adults of Dendroblax earlii are not known. 
Dendroblax earlii are known to fly at dusk.
Dendroblax earlii is the only New Zealand stag beetle whose larvae are also root feeders.

This 2 cm long beetle was found at 350 m.a.s.l South Taranaki on edge of Egmont National Park.