The Devil’s Coach Horse

The Devil's Coach Horse

I spotted this nasty looking fella on a trail in Killarney last weekend. We hoped to catch the rutting but the weather was terrible, and stags were shy. No fights but a few photos to post later..

Anyway, this guy was huge! This page says they’re about 2.8 cm, but I swear he was bigger. His tail comes up like a scorpion, and he scampered quickly across the ground, making him hard to photograph.

A ferocious and fast predator, the Devil’s coach horse beetle hunts invertebrates after dark in gardens and on grasslands. It is well-known for curling up its abdomen like the tail of a scorpion when defending itself.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a beetle like this before, but apparently they’re common!

Focal length150mm
Shutter speed1/500s

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

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