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100 rubles 2006
stag beetle Lucanus cervus
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100 rubles 2006 - stag beetle Lucanus cervus - Transnistria 100 rubles 2006 - stag beetle Lucanus cervus - Transnistria
32 mm diameter, 14.14 g, silver 92.5%, flat edge
Obverse: denomination "100 RUBLEI" (Cyrillic), coat of arms of the self proclaimed republic of Transnistria (bearing hammer and sickle), inscription "PRIDNESTROVSKII RESPUBLIKANSKII BANK" (in Cyrillic and Russian) meaning "[TRANS] NISTRIAN REPUBLICAN BANK", year 2006
Reverse: inscriptions "JUK-OLENY ·" (Cyrillic, meaning BEETLE-STAG) and "LUKANUS CERVUS" (Latin, but miswritten: it must be LUCANUS, with C), a pair of stag beetles on an oak trunk

Mintage: 500 coins

This coin belongs to the Fauna of Transnistria series, that comprises the following 100 rubles silver coins: hoopoe (2003), roe deer (2004), griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus, 2005), swallowtail (Papilio machaon, 2006) and stag beetle (Lucanus cervus, 2006).

In Romania the stag beetle is abundant in all oak forests. Information exists that in Central Europe this species is threatened by the loss of habitat. In the region around Iași the stag beetle is usually named "caradașcă", but the term is rarely mentioned inside Romanian dictionaries, that call it "rădașcă" or "răgace".

About Lucanus cervus stag beetle

The stag beetle belongs to Insecta class, Coleoptera order (beetles), Lucanidae family (stag beetles). Mentioned in "Natural History" written by Pliny the Elder in 1st century AD, the species was named Lucanus cervus by the Swedish scientist Karl von Linné (or Linnaeus in Latin) in 1757, in the fundamental book "Systema Naturae". In the book XI of "Naturalis historia", besides the beetle's short description, we can also read that the stag beetles were used as amulets against diseases, worn by children.

The stag beetle is a large beetle, measuring 2.5-7.5 centimeters. It lives mainly in old forests with many oaks. The male is bigger than the female, and have mandibles like toothed horns. The males use their horns in competition for females. The elytra are reddish-brown. The larva needs five or six years to transform into adult.

Lucanul cervus is the largest member of the Lucanidae family in Romania. The other stag beetle species that can be found in Romania are sensibly smaller.

male Lucanus cervus stag beetle, Bîrnova Forest near Iași - photo July 2009   female stag beetle, 2008, Bîrnova Forest near Iași

About the spectacular etymology on name Lucanus

The name Lucanus comes from Lucania, a region from the south of ancient Italy, nowadays named Basilicata.

Pliny notes that the stag beetle was called Lucanus by Nigidius Figulus (his works are nowadays lost). In the Roman military argot the elephant was also named "Lucanian cow", because in the region of Lucania the armies of Rome encountered in battle for the first time elephants, in the lost battle of Heraclea. The elephants were brought to Italy by king Pyrrhus of Epirus. Nigidius compared the stag beetle horns with elephant tusks, naming the beetles Lucanos, originally meaning elephant-beetles...

This is a coin issued by Transnistria. Knowing one might rightfully be wondering what is Transnistria about, we tried to depict on the site the issue as best as we could. Click the links below to clarify yourself.

Transnistria Then and Now | Transnistrian Coinage

For further information confront the Modern and contemporary history section inside the Brief and Comprehensive History of Romanians and Romania page.

Why Transnistrian Coins on Romanian Coins?

Because Transnistrian coins are held in their pockets and used as such by Romanian speaking Romanians on their native land.

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