Predatory ground beetle

Good day,

Please could you identify the beetle I saw over the weekend.

It was at Lobuvane Dam (near Siphofaneni), Eswatini, Africa.

Beetle was about 4cm long.

Unfortunately I only got one photo as it walked into the grass.

Kind regards,

Jacqui

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Dear Jacqui,

Thanks for sending in your image of a really beautiful predatory Ground Beetle in the family Carabidae.  The spots are very distinctive and we located some similar looking images on Beetles in the Bush (https://beetlesinthebush.com/2009/01/13/tyrant-ground-beetles/) where it states they are :  ” a distinctive group of ground beetles (family Carabidae) called tyrant ground beetles or spotted ground beetles (tribe Anthiini). I think I prefer the former. This tribe is largely restricted to Africa and is especially diverse and abundant in the arid, sandy Karoo and Kalahari regions of southern Africa. These beetles are large, powerful predators that rely on speed and agility for capturing prey, and since they are also flightless these characteristics come in handy for avoiding becoming prey themselves.”  Tyrant Ground Beetles should be approached with caution.  According to Biodiversity Explorer (http://www.biodiversityexplorer.info/beetles/carabidae/anthiinae/index.htm):  “They rely on speed and agility for defense. Their most powerful defense mechanism is a chemical that is secreted in a pygidial gland in the area of the ninth abdominal segment. It is made up of concentrated organic acids or quinone and is squirted at an attacker in a strong jet. Anthia can spray a jet of formic acid up to 30cm and it is said to cause blindness in cats and chickens.”

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    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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