Saturday, 7 September 2013

Devils Coach-horse (Staphylinua Olens)

7th September 2013

Devils Coach-horse (Staphylinua Olens)

I found a devils coach horse. It feeds on slugs. It is awake at night.It was in my front garden under a big black cover and eating a slug. It looked scary and was doing a frightening dance, lifting up its bottom and pointing it at me and snapping its jaws together.  It didn't even try to run away but stayed as if to attack me.  I didn't dare to pick it up as it looked like it would bite me. 
The Devils Coach-Horse is the largest Rove Beetle.

QUOTE: "It is active at night, hunting invertebrates which are seized and eaten with the large jaws.  It can give humans a painful but harmless nip.  When disturbed it performs a threat display with its abdomen curved upwards, tail high and jaws open wide and snapped together - at the same time, the end of the abdomen emits a secretion that gives off an unpleasant smell - scorpion like'  (RSPB Garden Wildlife, Peter Holden & Geoffrey Abbott)

Can you see the bits of slug stuck to the Devil Coach-horses feet and mouth?!  What a horrible insect!

Threating dance moves (coach-horse sitting on a piece of paper for photo)
This photo was taken when the devils coach-horse finally decided to stop dancing and run away!!

The slug was very big, it was almost as long as my hand.


  1. Hi Alexandra, I love your blog. It would be fun to look for bugs with you one day. I love you and your frog too. Love from Maia xxx

    1. Hi Maia, I am so happy that you love my blog. I am having lots of fun writing it. We must go bug hunting together very soon. I love you also, you are such a lovely friend to me. Love from Alexandra xxx

  2. Very Good work Alexandra , I like your very fierce bugs . Hope you find some more things soon to put up on this lovely Green Site . Do please keep looking and happy Hunting. Have you thought of hanging some wine ropes in your garden to see if any interesting moths might come visit ??

    Best Wishes

    WLR From i-spot

  3. Wonderful photo essay, thank you. I saved a couple of your pictures on Pinterest so that I could do some sketches, and noticed that Pinterest's algorithm for similar images called up silhouettes of ballet dancers!


I hope you like my blog. It would be nice to know if anyone is actually reading it, so please feel free to write a comment and let me know! Alexandra :-)