Ocypus olens (devil’s coach horse)

The devil’s coach horse, Ocypus olens, has a formidable reputation earned by its predatory nature and threatening posture.

Species detail

Ocypus olens belongs to the rove beetle family, the Staphylinidae, of which there are approximately 1000 species found in the UK

It is a relatively common beetle, widespread throughout Europe and also found as an introduced species in the Americas and Australasia.

It can be seen from April to October. Like most other rove beetles it is fast moving and capable of flight, though it is rarely seen flying.

  • Model of Ocypus olens
    Taxonomy

    Find out the key characteristics of Ocypus olens, the UK's largest rove beetle.

  • Ocypus olens in its natural habitat.
    Habitat

    Discover the environment and conditions that the devil’s coach horse relies on during its lifecycle.

  • Ocypus olens with some prey, a carabid beetle
    Ecology and UK distribution

    Find out about the feeding patterns of this nocturnal predator, and view a map of its UK distribution.

  • Ocypus olens
    Biology

    Learn about this beetle's lifecycle, from egg to adult, and find out about its defense mechanisms.

  • A devil's coach horse beetle from Europe
    Conservation

    Find out why this beetle is beneficial to the food chain and soil, and what is needed to ensure it continues to survive successfully.

  • The devil’s coach horse, Ocypus olens
    References

    Find reference material for Ocypus olens.

Images

The devil's coach horse, Ocypus olens, in its natural habitat

The devil's coach horse, Ocypus olens, in its natural habitat.

Devil's coach horse with some prey, a carabid beetle

The prey of the devil's coach horse includes other invertebrates such as this carabid beetle. It uses its exceptionally large jaws to crush and cut the prey. © Simon Brand

A devil's coach horse larva

A devil's coach horse larva © www.flickr.com/photos/shane58/3549172437/

A devil's coach horse from Europe

A devil's coach horse from Europe.

Model of a devil's coach horse beetle

Model of a devil's coach horse, showing the distinctive posture of this beetle.

Model of the devil's coach horse

A large scale model of the devil's coach horse.