Phalacrognathus muelleri

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Phalacrognathus muelleri
Phalacrognathus muelleri sjh.jpg
Phalacrognathus muelleri, male (left) and female
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Lucanidae
Subfamily: Lampriminae
Genus: Phalacrognathus
Species: P. muelleri
Binomial name
Phalacrognathus muelleri
Macleay, 1885

Phalacrognathus muelleri, colloquially the rainbow stag beetle,[1] is a species of beetle in the family Lucanidae. It is found in northern Queensland, Australia and New Guinea.

Phalacrognathus muelleri has been the official symbol of the Entomological Society of Queensland since 1973.[2][3]


This species is commonly known as golden, rainbow, magnificent, Mueller's and king stag beetle.[2] In 1885 the species was named Phalacrognathus muelleri by Sir William Macleay in honour of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, the Victorian Government Botanist,[2] the genus Phalacrognathus created at the same time.


Males of Phalacrognathus muelleri are the largest members of the Lucanidae family in Australia. Males range from 24 mm to 70 mm (0.9 to 2.8 in) in length, whereas the smaller females range from 23 mm to 46 mm (0.9 to 1.8 in).[1]


This species breeds in wet tropical areas. Up to 50 eggs can be laid by a female and these will take 10 to 14 days to hatch. The larva can be seen in the egg before emerging. The larvae are found in wet and rotting wood often in close proximity to white rot fungi[2] and can take up to three years to mature.

Examples of fungi found proximate to breeding sites are: Ganoderma applanatum (Pers.) Patouillard, Nigrofomes melanoporus (Mont.) Murr., Phellinus nr. glaucescens (Petch) Ryvarden; Phellinus robustus (P. Karst) Baird, & Galz., Phellinus - 3 spp., and Pycnoporus sp.[2]


  • Phalacrognathus muelleri muelleri — Queensland, Australia
  • Phalacrognathus muelleri fuscomicans — New Guinea


  1. ^ a b "Rainbow Stag Beetle (Phalacrognathus muelleri)". Naturesfaceart: Fine Art Photography. January 30, 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wood, G A; J Hasenpusch; R I Storey (September 1996). "The Life History of Phalacrognathus muelleri (Macleay) (Coleoptera: Lucanidae)" (PDF). Australian Entomologist. 23 (2). Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Entomological Society of Queensland". Retrieved 4 March 2013. 

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