Devil's Coach Horse Beetle

Ocypus olens

Devil's Coach Horse Beetle

Ocypus olens qtl1 by Quartl (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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A close up of a Ocypus olens devils coach horse beetle on a leaf
Ocypus olens qtl1 by Quartl (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 4
The Devil's Coach Horse Beetle has been linked to the devil since the middle ages, which is where it gets its common name. In Latin, however, 'olens' translates to mean 'smelling'; and this is because it may release a smelly odour when disturbed! Devil's Coach Horse Beetles are great to have in gardens. They'll eat anything from spiders, slugs, moths and carrion. When threatened, this beetle will flex the abdomen, causing it to curl upwards like a scorpion tail. If this isn't enough to deter an enemy, Ocypus olens are equipt with powerful jaws and may bite when threatened.
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Traits

Predatory beetles that can help to control garden pests.
May bite and release a foul-smelling odour when disturbed!

Appearance

Adults: Mature beetles can grow as large as 2.5cm. They're matt black with reduced wingcases, revealing the long segmented abdomen. When threatened, they might curl the abdomen like a scorpion. Larvae: Larvae are relatively mobile and spend most time below ground. They look similar to the adults but less shiny and more soft-bodied. Eggs: Description unavailable. Eggs are laid in damp areas including moss and leaf litter.

Symptoms

Provides garden pest control. Larvae help churn the soil, increasing its natural formation.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Staphylindae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

The UK, Europe and in North Africa and some parts of North America

Biological treatment

These insects don't need to be removed from gardens.
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