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Debbie Hadley

Friday Fact - Devil's Coach Horse

By December 7, 2012

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The devil's coach horse (Ocypus olens) may sound like an evil insect, but this large rove beetle is actually a beneficial predator. The species is native to Europe, where it's quite common, but also inhabits parts of North America, Asia, and Australia, where it was introduced. When threatened, the devil's coach horse will open its large jaws in a menacing manner, and raise its abdomen up over its head like a scorpion. If that doesn't dissuade you from messing with it, the beetle will use its secret weapon - stink glands - to launch an odoriferous attack. You can see images of this tiny terror in action in this excellent article from the UK's Buglife website.

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