© Stuart M Bennett 2000
Blaps mucronata
(The Churchyard Beetle)

This jet black species, which is often known as the "cellar beetle", is most often found in, you guessed it, cellars but also outhouses and stables. The beetle pictured above is one of three species found in the British Isles. It might be easily mistaken for a ground beetle but it has none of the sensory bristles which are found on the ground beetles and a further distinction is that the hind feet have only four segments. Ground beetles have five segments on each foot. Both adult and larval churchyard beetles feed on decaying vegetable material which they find on their nocturnal ramblings.

As with most of the family the wing cases are fused together because there are no longer any wings to protect, so the elytra protect the body instead. If the beetle is alarmed or disturbed it emits a foul smell as a defensive measure.

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