What I just learnt about the devil's coach horse

BugsrusBugsrus Registered Users Posts: 182 Major grins

Probably most European viewers are familiar with the devil's coachhorse, Staphylinus Olens, that raises its tail scorpion-like when threatened. I was playing with one today (the way you do), who behaved pretty much as expected - but then he /she must have thought I was a particularly dangerous predator and did something that I have never seen before. Apparently, when threatened they can deploy a couple of scent glands at the rear end. These are the white things in the second photograph (sorry about the bit of straw it picked up). These glands dispense a particularly noxious chemical cocktail that is meant to repel predators (for the cognoscenti it is a mixture of iridodial and 4-methylhexan-3-one). I never fail to be astonished by the strange things that insects can do.


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