The world fauna consists of about 1500 species (Mizunuma and Nagai 1994) with more species found in Asia than in other areas. Keys to adults: Benesh 1946; Howden and Lawrence 1974; Ratcliffe 1991. Keys to larvae: Ritcher 1966. Catalogs of North American species: Benesh 1960; Blackwelder and Arnett 1974. Biology: Milne 1933; Hoffman 1937, Paulsen 2013.
Lucanids are usually associated with decaying wood and logs in coniferous and deciduous forest habitats. Adults of some species are attracted to lights at night and some feed at sap flows from fluxing trees. Adults of some of the smaller species have been observed feeding on flowers. The eggs are customarily laid in crevices in bark or logs, and the larvae feed on decaying wood and are not economically injurious. The larvae resemble those of Scarabaeidae, but in lucanids the anal opening is longitudinal or Y-shaped, whereas in scarabs it is usually transverse or occasionally Y-shaped. References: Ratcliffe 1991.
Form scarabaeiform (c-shaped, subcylindrical). Color creamy-white or yellowish (except at caudal end which may be darkened by accumulated feces). Cranium heavily sclerotized, lightly pigmented. Antennae 3-4 segmented, last segment greatly reduced in size. Ocelli absent (present in Platycerini, some Sclerostomini, and Ceratognathini). Frontoclypeal suture present. Labrum at apex rounded or weakly lobed. Epipharynx rounded or lobed, with symmetrical tormae. Maxilla with galea and lacinia distinctly separate; maxillary stridulatory teeth absent (present in Platycerus); maxillary palpus 4-segmented. Mandibles elongate, asymmetrical. Abdominal segments 3-7 with 2 annuli, each with 1 or more transverse rows of short setae. Spiracles cribriform. Anal opening Y-shaped or longitudinal, surrounded by 2 fleshy lobes. Legs 4-segmented. Stridulatory apparatus on meso- and metathoracic legs present; claws present. References: Ritcher 1966; Scholtz 1990.
BARTOLOZZI, L. 1989. Taxonomic revue of the genus Penichrolucanus Deyrolle 1863 (Coleoptera Lucanidae) with notes on its biology. Tropical Zoology 2: 37-44.
BENESH, B. 1946. A systematic revision of the Holarctic genus Platycerus Geoffroy. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 72: 139-202.
BENESH, B. 1960. Coleopterorum Catalogus Supplementa, pars 8: Lucanidae. W. Junk, Gravenhage, Netherlands.
BLACKWELDER, R. E. and R. H. ARNETT, JR. 1974. Checklist of the beetles of Canada, United States, Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. Volume 1, Part 3. The scarab beetles, ant-loving beetles, clown beetles, and related groups (red version). The Biological Research Institute of America, Inc., Latham, NY. 120 pp.
BROWNE, D. J. and C. H. SCHOLTZ. 1995. Phylogeny of the families of the Scarabaeoidea (Coleoptera) based on characters of the hindwing articulation, hindwing base and wing venation. Systematic Entomology 21: 145-173.
CAVENEY, S. 1986. The phylogenetic significance of ommatidium structure in the compound eyes of polyphagan beetles. Canadian Journal of Zoology 64: 1787-1819.
CROWSON, R. A. 1967. The natural classification of the families of Coleoptera. E.W. Classey, Ltd., Middlesex. 187 pp.
DIDIER, R. and E. SÉGUY. 1953. Catalogue illustré des lucanides du globe. Texte. Encyclopédie Entomologique (series A) 27: 1-223.
FUJITA, H. 2010. The Lucanid beetles of the world / by Hiroshi Fujita ; with the assistance of Tetsuo Mizunuma, Shinji Nagai and Masahiko Suzumura. Mushi-Sha's iconographic series of insects, 6. 472 pp. + 248 plates.
HOFFMAN, C. H. 1937. Biological notes on Pseudolucanus placidus
Say, Platycerus quercus Weber and Ceruchus piceus Weber
(Lucanidae-Coleoptera). Entomological News 48: 281-284.
HOLLOWAY, B. A. 1960. Taxonomy and phylogeny in the Lucanidae (Insecta: Coleoptera). Records of the Dominion Museum 3: 321-365.
HOLLOWAY, B. A. 1968. The relationship of Syndesus MacLeay and Sinodendron Schneider (Coleoptera: Lucanidae). New Zealand Journal of Science 11: 264-269.
HOLLOWAY, B. A. 1969. Further studies on generic relationships in Lucanidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) with special reference to the ocular canthus. New Zealand Journal of Science 12: 958-977.
HOLLOWAY, B. A. 1972. The systematic position of the genus Diphyllostoma Fall (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea). New Zealand Journal of Science 15: 31-38.
HOWDEN, H. F. 1982. Larval and adult characters of Frickius Germain, its relationship to the Geotrupini, and a phylogeny of some major taxa in the Scarabaeoidea (Insecta: Coleoptera). Canadian Journal of Zoology 10: 2713-2724.
HOWDEN, H. F. and J. F. LAWRENCE. 1974. The New World Aesalinae, with notes on the North American lucanid subfamilies (Coleoptera, Lucanidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 52: 1505-1510.
IABLOKOFF-KHNZORIAN, S. M. 1977. Über die Phylogenie der Lamellicornia. Entomologische Abhandlungen der Staatlichen Museum für Tierkunde in Dresden 41: 135-200.
KIKUTA, T. 1986. On the higher taxa of the stag beetle family Lucanidae, pp. 131-138. In: J. Aoki (editor). Papers on Entomology Presented to Professor Takeshiko Nakane in Commemoration of His Retirement. Japanese Society of Coleopterology, Tokyo. 277 pp.
LAWRENCE, J. F. and A. F. NEWTON, JR. 1995. Families and subfamilies of Coleoptera (with selected genera, notes, and references and data on family-group names), pp. 779-1006. In J. Pakaluk and S.A. Slipinski (eds.), Biology, Phylogeny, and Classification of Coleoptera. Papers Celebrating the 80th Birthday of Roy A. Crowson. Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii PAN, Warszawa, Poland.
MAES, J.-M. 1992. Lista de los Lucanidae (Coleoptera) del mundo. Revista Nicaraguense de Entomologia No. 22: 1-121.
MILNE, L. J. 1933. Notes on Pseudolucanus placidus (Say) (Lucanidae, Coleoptera). Canadian Entomologist 65: 106-114.
MIZUNUMA, T. and S. NAGAI. 1994. The Lucanid Beetles of the World. Mushi-sha, Tokyo. 337 pp.
PAULSEN, M.J. 2013. Annotated checklist of the New World Lucanidae. Online publication Accessed here.
RATCLIFFE, B. C. 1991. The Lucanidae and Passalidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) of Nebraska. Great Plains Research 1: 249-282.
RITCHER, P. O. 1966. White Grubs and Their Allies: A Study of North American Scarabaeioid Larvae. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon. 219 pp.
SCHOLTZ, C. H. 1990. Phylogenetic trends in the Scarabaeoidea (Coleoptera). Journal of Natural History 24: 1027-1066.
SCHOLTZ, C. H., D. J. BROWNE and J. KUKALOVA-PECK. 1994. Glaresidae, archaeopteryx of the Scarabaeoidea (Coleoptera). Systematic Entomology 19: 259-277.
SMITH, A.B.T., D.C. HAWKS, and J.M. HERATY. 2006. An overview of the classification and evolution of
the major scarab beetle clades (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) based on preliminary molecular analyses.
Coleopterists Society Monographs 5: 35–46..