Devil's Coach Horse

Interesting find
I found this in my front garden ( Hampshire ,England ). I don’t think it’s a scorpion, but it looks quite like one. It was about an inch long with its tail flat. Would appreciate finding out what it is, and could it hurt my 9 month old child? Thanks a lot,
Matt Stephenson

Hi Matt,
This large, black soft-bodied Rove Beetle is commonly called the Devil’s Coach Horse. Its scientific name, Ocypus olens, formerly Staphylinus olens, refers to a foul odor it discharges when disturbed. Your image shows the scent glands portruding from the anus when the beetle assumes its threat position. This beetle was introduced to North America sometime in the 1930s. It is quite common in our Mt. Washington, Los Angeles garden where it feasts on an introduced pest, the Garden Snail. Though it can bite, it is nothing more than a nip, so the Devil’s Coach Horse will not harm your child.

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