Black Bug w/attachment
Please find attached some pictures in a zip file of this black bug I can’t identify. It prefers shady areas and when threatened it either flips on its back and feigns death or it raises its tail up much like a scorpion. I’m not sure if its tail is barbed though. I’m in ireland and haven’t seen this type of bug around here before. Could it posibly be a more exotic species come in on imports of fruit or such? Thanks for your time, much obliged.

Hi Conor,
I have Devil’s Coach Horses, Staphylinus olens, in my Southern California garden. It is native to Europe, but was introduced to Southern California in 1931. They are great in the garden because they eat snails and slugs. Though they have a frightening defensive posture, they have no sting, but can emit a malodorous fluid leading to its scientific name which means stinking.

3 Responses to Devil's Coach Horse

  1. Megan says:

    Hi! I am a student at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. In my Organismal Biology class we are required to create a website on a type of insect. Because of copyright issues, permission must be obtained from the original source in order for us to use the images that we will put on our webpage. The page we create will be viewable to the public as part of a larger project at The website will have nothing to do with my school. The image that I would like to use is the one on this page with the title: Devil’s Coach Horse. If you could please reply letting me know if it is okay if we post this picture on our website that would be great! Your time is appreciated.


  2. Rebecca says:

    Oh my GAWD… Just found one of these in my basement apartment in SE Portland lastnight. Was in the middle of a workout ritual, dancing in front of the mirror. Deep, 90 minutes into this, when I looked down and saw it. Put a heavy glass over it. Boy that ruined my vibe and ended my session, I’ll tell you. NEVER. EVER in my 36 years of life born and raised in Oregon have I seen this demonic looking thing!! I’m too scared to kill it.
    Took it to a friend’s this morning and she took it out back and did the deed for me. Sorry.. I didn’t really wanna kill it, but this thing is legitimately terrifying.

  3. Holly says:

    i have lots of them outside in Marcola, OR , and was wondering how they come to be?
    I just found the weirdest looking cacoon ! pretty big and doent look like a butterfly cacoon. it somewhat resembles a feather! Tan in color and with wispy ridges. anyway, it got me to wondering…

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