Subject: Strange bug from Portugal
Location: Portugal
January 30, 2017 12:44 pm
Hi, bugman.
Found this strange bug hanging around my backyard in Portugal, never seen one before. My cat chased it into the house. It’s nearing the end of winter now.
I’m of course wondering what it is. When the cat was trying to swat it around, I noticed it attempts to raise its tail like a scorpion and secretes a white liquid from the tip. A stinger of sorts, I presume?
The bug was of course released without harm.
Anyway thanks in advance for any help!
Signature: David

Devil’s Coach Horse

Dear David,
This native predatory Rove Beetle in the genus
Ocypus is commonly called a Devil’s Coach Horse.  They are not dangerous to humans, though they are able to expel a foul smelling odor from glands at the tip of the abdomen which they do while striking a curious curved posture that many folks liken to the appearance of a stinging scorpion.  This European native has naturalized in parts of North America and according to BugGuide:  “They often eat, and may help to control, the introduced brown garden snail.”

Location: Portugal

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