A wander around the trails at the moment would not be complete without an encounter with a stroppy Devils Coach Horse Beetle!
As far back as the Middle Ages this species has been associated with the Devil and was known in Ireland as Dar Daol which translates as ‘the Devil’s beetle’. Many myths and superstitions have surrounded the Devil’s Coach Horse such as its ability to curse a person by pointing its upraised body in their direction! Some also believed that the beetle had magic powers and it is believed by some that in Ireland reapers used to improve their skills by putting a Devil’s Coach Horse in the handle of their scythes.
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.
So do not be afraid of this fierce rove beetle and marvel at the fact that it is prepared to take you on when it feels threatened!
Huge jaws and chemical warfare at the ready... A DCH prepares to defend itself from the approaching Mark Hart!