Ecology and UK distribution


The devil’s coach horse is a nocturnal predator. It feeds on:

  • other invertebrates such as
    • insects
    • woodlice
    • slugs
  • carrion

How the beetle feeds:

  1. Exceptionally large mandibles (jaws) crush and cut the prey.
  2. This is then chewed and shaped into a ball-shaped mass (bolus).
  3. The bolus passes through the digestive tract and is eventually secreted from the foregut.
  4. Once liquefied, the food is finally digested

UK distribution

Ocypus olens distibution map

UK distribution map of Ocypus olens. Red squares represent 10km squares in which the species is present. © NBN Gateway