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Geodorcus novaezealandiae facts for kids

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Geodorcus novaezealandiae
G. novaezealandiae.jpg
Illustration from G.V.Hudson's "An elementary manual of New Zealand entomology".
Scientific classification
Genus:
Geodorcus
Species:
novaezealandiae
Synonyms
  • Dorcus abdituss Broun, 1881
  • Dorcus punctulatus White, 1846
  • Sclerostomus caviceps Westwood, 1855

Geodorcus novaezealandiae is a large flightless species of stag beetle in the family Lucanidae. It is the type species and smallest member of the genus Geodorcus. It is endemic to New Zealand.

Description

This species is considerably smaller than other members of Geodorcus. Male Helm's stag beetle have been collected that are 44 mm including mandibles, whereas male Geodorcus novaezealandiae, including the mandibles, range in size from 12–21.5 mm. Females are generally smaller, ranging in size from 11–17.4 mm. Like all other Geodorcus, they show sexual dimorphism: the male beetle has a much wider head and larger mandibles. They have a dull to slightly glossy black exoskeleton with obvious raised ribs on the elytra.

Distribution

This species is found in the south of the North Island. Its range extends from the Akatarawa Valley in the Tararua Range in the north of the region to the Aorangi Range in the south. It has been observed at altitudes from near sea level to 365 m.

Habitat

Geodorcus novaezealandiae has been observed under the bark of live rimu and southern beech trees. They have also been found in old beech stumps and amongst roots. Like other Geodorcus species, they are forest-dwelling, nocturnal beetles.

Conservation

All Geodorcus species are protected under Schedule 7 of the 1953 Wildlife Act, making it an offense to possess, harm or sell these beetles. Geodorcus novaezealandiae is likely the most abundant of all the Geodorcus. It has a conservation status of Naturally Uncommon (Range Restricted).

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