© Stuart M Bennett 2000
Staphylinus olens
(The Devil's Coach Horse)

This beetle has been associated with the Devil since the Middle Ages, it has a fierce appearance and a painful bite. It is also known as the Cock Tail Beetle, as it faces an attacker with wide open jaws and it's tail arched forward over it's head, like a scorpion sting.

This species belongs to a very large group known as Staphylinidae which numbers well over a 1,000 species in Europe. The elytra are very short and leave most of the abdomen exposed. This group contains beetles of all sizes and with many tiny species. Despite the short elytra the hind wings are usually well developed and most species fly well. Many of the smaller ones fly by day, but the larger ones are mainly nocturnal. They are predators and omnivorous scavengers. These species are also known as "Rove Beetles".

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