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


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


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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