What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

please identify this bug
March 15, 2010
I found this in my jacket! I don’t want to kill it if it is harmless or useful.
Charlotte, North Carolina

False Bombardier Beetle

Hi Celeste,
This is a False Bombardier Beetle in the genus Galerita.  According to BugGuide, the False Bombardier Beetles can be distinguished from the true Bombardier Beetles by the “Large size, blue/black striated elytra, brown pronotum, legs, palpi. Head black, unlike the bombardiers, Brachinus, which have a brown head, and are usually smaller (4-15 mm).
”  False Bombardier Beetles are beneficial predators with a unique defense mechanism.  According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of the United States of America website: “The carabid beetle Galerita lecontei has a pair of abdominal defensive glands that secrete a mixture of formic acid, acetic acid, and lipophilic components (long-chain hydrocarbons and esters). Formic acid, at the concentration of 80%, is the principal constituent. The beetle ejects the secretion as a spray, which it aims accurately toward parts of the body subjected to assault. At full capacity, the glands store 4.5 mg of formic acid (3% of body mass), enough for upward of six ejections.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to False Bombardier Beetle

  1. lukelightning says:

    It’s a false bombadier beetle, but it can still bomb? Does it get upset that it’s not considered the real one?

  2. Yvette says:

    I have little black speck like bugs that jumps bites and soap and hot hot water bug spays bombs nothing has worked .they are e everywhere from my hair to my clothes to my mouth and no one can see them but I have one other friend that has been bitten. Please help no one can see them but me I sprayed them and they pasted out for a few seconds and got back up and jumped away but now when i spay they just jump and bite harder

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