Devil’s Coachhorse

Subject: Black ant or wasp?
Location: MOunt Washinton/Los Angeles, Calif.
October 30, 2016 9:29 pm
Found this in my house on Mount Washington today. Don’t recall ever seeing one like this in the area in 50+ years living up here, but I do recall seeing them in more arid desert and forest areas of the Southwest. I just had guests from Henderson Nevada this weekend and suspect that it is a traveler from their belongings. I have it saved in a jar and is close to expiring when I came across it.
Thank you.
Signature: Rene Zambrano

Devil's Coachhorse
Devil’s Coachhorse

Dear Rene,
Though it does not look very beetle-like, this Devil’s Coachhorse is actually a Rove Beetle.  The Devil’s Coachhorse is a European species not native to North America, but it was probably introduced as far back as the 1930s and it is very well established.  We have frequent sightings of Devil’s Coachhorses in our own Mount Washington garden where they are eagerly welcomed as they are one of the few predators that will eat non-native snails and slugs.  When threatened, the Devil’s Coachhorse rears up its abdomen like a scorpion and releases a foul smell, but it is a harmless species.

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