Checkered Beetle from France

Subject: Wondering if this is a spider
Location: Dordogne,France
April 25, 2013 6:18 am
Dear WTB,
I took this picture in my kitchen before putting it in the garden- it looks like it could nip. It was probably staying out of the sun. I cant say I’ve seen one here ever -France. It is about 1-1.5 cm in length. It looks like venom from spiderman , maybe the inspiration. Thanks
Signature: Alan Harvey

Checkered Beetle
Checkered Beetle

Dear Alan,
This is a Checkered Beetle in the family Cleridae, not a spider.  According to BugGuide, Checkered Beetles are:  “predaceous on other insects, larvae mostly on wood- and cone-borers; some adults feed on pollen; a few species are scavengers.”  Your Checkered Beetle looks somewhat similar to this image of
Thanasimus formicarius from FlickR.

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