Demonizing Stag-beetles: this ancient tradition should not die!

Cerambus – shepherd living on Mount Othrys in Thessaly was skilled with pipes which he played to nymphs.  That or some other misfortune made Gods angry at Cerambus and they turned him into a stag beetle.


In 14-15 century, the images appeared in International Gothic style paintings and later again in northern European paintings of 16-17 century.  Supposedly, stag beetles spread fire by carrying burning coals in their mandibles.  Hence, they represented evil in paintings (usually coupled with "good" such as cupids, dogs, wine, and fish).

These photographs, taken in southern France, is my contribution to continuation of this ancient tradition of demonizing stag beetles.