Belongs to: beetles

Devils coachhorse beetle Staphylinus olens


Best time to see: Mar to end Oct

Key facts

A rove beetle that looks rather like a giant black earwig

Habitat: almost anywhere with some cover and small insects as food, including gardens and damp houses

Widespread and common

Recognition

A long thin grey-black beetle, looking and acting like an oversized earwig; length 2.5 cm

Curls its tail like a scorpion when threatened and squirts foul-smelling chemicals into its attacker's face

Eats spiders and smaller beetles as well as any small animals it can scavenge

Lifecycle

Round white eggs are laid into soil and hatch in a few days

Larvae are smaller, brown versions of the adults and are also carnivorous

They form a pupa in leaf litter or moss to over-winter, hatching the following spring

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