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Information about the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

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Genus Brachinus - Bombardier Beetle

Bombadier beetle - Brachinus elongatulus Brachinus costipennis Motschulsky - Brachinus costipennis Bombardier Beetle - Brachinus cyanipennis Bombardier Beetle - Brachinus cyanipennis Bombardier Beetle - Brachinus fulminatus Black beetle with a red head - Brachinus adustipennis Brachinus Brachinus sp. - Brachinus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Adephaga (Ground and Water Beetles)
Family Carabidae (Ground Beetles)
Subfamily Brachininae
Genus Brachinus (Bombardier Beetle)
Explanation of Names
Brachinus Weber 1801
Numbers
48 spp. in our area, all in the subg. Neobrachinus; >300 spp. in 9 subgenera worldwide(1)
Canada 10 spp.(2), RI 12(3), FL 19(4)...
Size
5-13 mm
Identification
Medium-sized beetles with dark (blue, green, or blackish) elytra that contrast strongly with orange head and pronotum; some are flightless(5)
revision of N. Amer. spp. in(6)
key to the 16 SC spp. in(5)
Range
worldwide (poorly represented in Australasia); throughout NA, much more diverse in the south (do not range north of 50N in the west and 45N in the east)(7)
Habitat
under loose bark, rocks, boards, on ground in open at night; usually associated with floodplains, edges of temporary ponds
Food
larvae are parasitoids of aquatic beetle pupae and scavenge body of host after its death
Life Cycle
Eggs laid singly in mud cells made on plants, rocks. Larvae have reduced legs and pupate inside the host.
Remarks
Adults have chemical defenses, ejecting toxic, foul-smelling gases from their abdomen with a loud popping sound. The explosive brew is composed of hydrogen peroxide, hydroquinone, and catalytic enzymes.
See Also