Subject: Strangest bug I’ve ever seen
Location: Casablanca, Morocco
April 17, 2015 1:01 pm
I was just wondering if anyone knew what this lovely looking insect was. It flew into my window then crawled up the wall.
Any help will be appreciated
Signature: Charlie

Devil's Coachhorse

Devil’s Coachhorse

Hi Charlie,
Though it does not look like a typical Beetle, this Rove Beetle in the genus
Ocypus is commonly called a Devil’s Coachhorse.  According to BugGuide, members of the genus are:  “native to the Old World (Eurasia & Africa), adventive in NA (2 spp. along the Pacific Coast + 2 in ne. US).”  The Devil’s Coachhorse is one of the few predators that will feed on snails, so they are welcome in our Los Angles garden where we occasionally encounter them.  TrekNature provides this information:  “Distribution: originally in great part of Europe and NW Africa, introduced to N America, Asia and Australia.” TrekNature also provides this interesting etomological information:  “English name: – devil’s coach-horse beetle comes from stories from the Middle Ages when this species has [b]een associated with Devil for the first time. Thanks to its black colouration, huge mandibles and night period of activity people believed that the Devil assumes the form of this beetle to eat sinners. Some other common names of this beetle are: Devil’s beast, Devil’s footman, Devil’s coachman and Devil’s steed.”  The Devil’s Coachhorse often strikes a threat posture when disturbed, and though it can release a foul odor (also associated with the devil), it is perfectly harmless to humans.

Location: Casablanca, Morocco

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