1 EAGLETON NOTES: Devil's Coach-horse

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Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Devil's Coach-horse

0530 is not the most auspicious time of day to come face to face, or, I should say foot to face, with a 1" long beetle on the bathroom floor. I wondered how, as it scurried round looking for somewhere to hide, it had managed to get into the house. After all we tend to live in fairly hermetically sealed homes these days with, in the weather we had on Sunday, the smallest amount of ventilation. He (or she) did not seem to be able to fly (thank heaven) so presumably had entered the bathroom through the ventilation fan. Fortunately I was awake, having decided that there was no more sleep to be had and that there were things to do. Disposing of beetles had not, however, been on the agenda. And, of course, nowadays I can't just dispose of these creatures. They have to be photographed and identified - and then thrown out. Which is what happened. And so I saw my first (identified) Devil's Coach-horse. In that it eats slugs at night it is a Good Beetle (because it eats slugs not because it does so at night). Leastways I'm fairly certain that's what it was (and, presumably, still is) although I couldn't identify the fine hairs with which his ilk is supposed to be arrayed.

1 comment:

  1. If it is a Devil's Coach Horse, and it looks like it (though there are a number of almost identical species in the same genus), it's only half a Good Beetle. Half is a Bad Beetle. It's mandibles are very powerful and therefore it can give quite a painful bite. OK when's it's doing it to slugs but not to bare toes in the bathroom!

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