Humans may think of February as the right time for valentines day, but if you are a stag beetle the right time to find your soulmate is the heat of summer. I found my first reddish stag beetle (Lucanus capreolus) a few weeks ago, the female pictured here, and within a week I found a male counterpart. This species mates in the summer, after which females oviposit in rotting wood. The larvae feed on the wood until they pupate and the cycle continues.
The stag beetles (family Lucanidae) is remarkable for their sexual dimorphism: males have large, ornamental mandibles whereas females have smaller ones. This is due to a unique behavior, related to sexual selection. Males engage in ritualistic battles of strength over mates by locking their huge mandibles and trying to lift their opponent like a sumo wrestler. I have never witnessed this behavior in person but I have seen plenty of videos, some enthusiastically narrated by Japanese announcers.