Pincher bug family?
Location: Northern California
June 4, 2011 4:06 pm
My son discovered this bug while playing in the backyard today. It seems to be 2 to 3 times the size of a normal pincher bug and would raise its rear when prodded. What is this bug?
Signature: Backyardigan

Devil's Coach Horse

Dear Backyardigan,
This is one of our favorite insects, a non-native Rove Beetle that has been introduced to California from Europe that is commonly called a Devil’s Coach Horse.  It is not dangerous.  They are one of the few insects that will feed on snails.  Your letter will post live to our site next week.

Location: California

15 Responses to Devil's Coach Horse

  1. Joshua says:

    I just found one of these in my house. In Salem, OR.

  2. Jason says:

    Just found four in and around my home in Seattle WA

  3. Jen says:

    Just found one in Southeast Idaho!

  4. Heidi says:

    Just found one in Nampa, Idaho (southwest).

  5. Hayden says:

    I just found one in my garage In Salem, Or

  6. Kari says:

    Have had one of these hanging around our front porch in Vancouver, British Columbia!

  7. Tony says:

    Just found one here in Santa Cruz county

  8. Shannon Weedman says:

    Found one in my house Michigan

  9. Jill says:

    Found one in my backyard!

  10. ShaShaGrace says:

    Just happened upon one on a sidewalk in Tumwater, Washington State, United States. Creepy little guy! I am generally not bothered by creepy crawlies of any sort, but this one came close when I nudged it and it threatened me with its pointy little backside!

  11. Josiah Parks says:

    Found several of these things coming in and out of the cracks the dirt in back yard, then noticed a FOUL smell and found a dead rabbit not 2 feet from them through my fence in my neighbors back yard. Never seen them before here in Frederick MD. USA. They are nasty looking and apparently love eating decomposing flesh.

  12. Glen Cruciani says:

    I just caught my second one of these in less than a week. Both were found, oddly enough, in my finished basement. I live in Northwestern Connecticut. From what I’ve read these seem to be found more commonly on the west coast. Is it odd for it to be here in CT? Do they pose any threat to my home, much like a termite or carpenter ant? Hoping not! Thanks!!! Glen

    • bugman says:

      A similar species in the same genus, Ocypus nitens is “Native to w. Palaearctic; adventive in NA and mostly limited to the coastal ne. US (ME-NY)” according to BugGuide.

  13. Laura S. says:

    Found one in my home in Chicago, Illinois.

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