FAUNA and FUNGHI of MALTA
(www.MaltaFauna.com)
Ocypus olens  (O. F. Müller, 1774)
Main synonym = Staphylinus olens    (O. F. Müller, 1764)
Taxonomical Classification:  Animalia / Arthropoda / Insecta / Coleoptera / Staphylinidae
Devils coach-horse beetle, Cocktail beetle     Katarina għolli dembek
Further Information:
The species forms part of the family of long-bodied beetle measuring up to 25–28 mm and hence one of the longest beetles in Malta. The abdominal muscles are powerful and can rais it lower half with great speed or force. The abdominal segments are covered with sclerotized plates. Most of the abdomen is covered with fine black hairs. It can fly when threatened, but its wings are rarely used and instead it defends itself by raising its long and uncovered abdomen and opening its jaws to intimidate its attacker. This explains one of its alternative names, the cock-tail beetle. Although it has no sting, it can give a painful bite with its strong pincer-like jaws. It also emits a foul smelling odour, as a defensive secretion, from a pair of white glands at the end of its abdomen.

It is night predator, hunting and feeding on invertebrates including worms and woodlice, as well as carrion. The prey is caught and held firm by the strong mandibles and together wthe front legs it manipulate the food to be ingested. This black beetle usually shelters during the day under stones, logs or leaf litter. It is most often seen in parks, gardens and disturbed ground in Spring and early Summer.






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Image Code:
OCYP-OLE

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