Devil's Coach Hourse
( Ocypus olens )


2014-0601-01100108-COL00119-Ocypus_olens[1008h24s,F,I,plant]{EXD}-O.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT
The beetle was introduced from Europe where it is known as the Cocktail Beetle. Devil?s Coach Horses live in organic ground debris. They are formidable predators of invertebrates including slugs, snails and even immature Jerusalem Crickets. The forewings are short, exposing the abdomen, which the insect curves upward (scorpion-like) when threatened. This beetle is part of a very large family of beetles that is very diverse in form and lifestyle.

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Ocypus olens
(O. Müller, 1764)
Common Name:Devil's Coach Hourse
Life Stage:(I) indeterminate/irrelevant

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Coleoptera
Suborder:Polyphaga
Family:Staphylinidae
Subfamily:Staphylininae
Tribe:Staphylinini
Genus:Ocypus
Taxon Code:COL00119

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Knowland Park, Knowland Park, Oakland
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01100108

RECOGNITION
Description
Adults: Elongate and entirely jet black all over except for the distal ends of the tarsi and antennae which are dark brown. Elytra are shot covering only it thorax. Abdominal segments are exposed, scleritized and clearly segmented. Larvae: Elongate. Similar in appearance to larvae of the Raphidioptera. The head capsulre is highly scleritized and dark reddish brown. The pronotum is brown, growing lighter further from teh head. The abdomen is a gray-cream color. Its distal end bears a pair of long, fleshy protuberances.
Body Length
25-28 mm
Colors
Color1: black

BIOLOGY
This black beetle usually shelters during the day under stones, logs or leaf litter. It is most often seen in forests, parks and gardens between April and October.
Food
This insect is nocturnal, preying on invertebrates such as worms, woodlice, slugs, snails and even immature Jerusalem crickets.
Importance
This insect is nocturnal, but may wander indoors. It is well known for its threat display. With little provocation it will curl its abdomen over its back and open jaws to bite. This is similar to the behavior of many insects which feign stinging behavior. It does not sing, but can give a painful bite. It will exude a foul smelling defensive secretion, from a pair of white glands at the end of its abdomen.
Distribution
California has the earliest (1931) record for this insect in North America. It is adventive in the western United States from Arizona, west to California and north to Washington.
Importance
This insect is nocturnal, but may wander indoors. It is well known for its threat display. With little provocation it will curl its abdomen over its back and open jaws to bite. This is similar to the behavior of many insects which feign stinging behavior. It does not sing, but can give a painful bite. It will exude a foul smelling defensive secretion, from a pair of white glands at the end of its abdomen.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
BugGuide .
Devil's coach horse beetle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_coach_horse_beetle)


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