Devil’s Coach Horse from Germany

Subject: Curious Insect
Location: Ruegen, Germany
September 10, 2016 8:45 am
Dear Bug Experts,
I was recently on holiday in Ruegen, Germany (early September), and came across this unusual bug by the side of the road. It extended up its rear part at us to warn us off, much like a scorpion does. Neither I nor my German friend had ever seen this bug before. It was black, about an inch long, and had little pincers, which it flexed at us. We are curious what it is, can you help us?
Many thanks,
Signature: Vivien

Devil's Coach Horse
Devil’s Coach Horse

Dear Vivien,
This Rove Beetle is commonly called a Devil’s Coach Horse.  The threat posture you describe is also accompanied by the release of a foul odor, and while they are not a dangerous species, they can appear quite frightening.

Dear Bug Experts,
Thank you so much for the interesting information! It is indeed a very cool beetle. I am very happy to know this. 🙂

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