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Photo#21965
Bombadier Beetle - Brachinus

Bombadier Beetle - Brachinus
Hollis, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
June 24, 2005
A dozen or more came to my UV light last night in a marshy stream locale. I had fun holding them down with my finger or thumb and getting them to "bomb," usually misdirected. I caught one and closed my hand around it. I definitely felt the heat when it fired.

Are there are more than one species? This one has a shorter abdomen than some apparent bombadiers I've seen pictured.

Several species.
Yes, there are several species of Brachinus in North America. Apparently their larvae are parasites of the pupae of water beetles. Very nice portrait!

 
Water
Thinking back, I've only had bombadiers come to my UV lights when I've been near water. The water beetle pupa connection would explain it.

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