Skip to main content

Devil's Coach Horse Beetle

Ocypus olens

Devil's Coach Horse Beetle, Devil's Footman, Devil's Coachman, Devil's Steed

A close up of a Ocypus olens devils coach horse beetle on a leaf

Ocypus olens qtl1

by Quartl. CC BY-SA 3.0

1 of 4
The Devil's Coach Horse Beetle has been linked to the devil since the middle ages, which is where it gets its common name. In Latin, however, 'olens' translates to mean 'smelling'; and this is because it may release a smelly odour when disturbed! Devil's Coach Horse Beetles are great to have in gardens. They'll eat anything from spiders, slugs, moths and carrion. When threatened, this beetle will flex the abdomen, causing it to curl upwards like a scorpion tail. If this isn't enough to deter an enemy, Ocypus olens are equipt with powerful jaws and may bite when threatened.
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play


Predatory beetles that can help to control garden pests.
May bite and release a foul-smelling odour when disturbed!


Adults: Mature beetles can grow as large as 2.5cm. They're matt black with reduced wingcases, revealing the long segmented abdomen. When threatened, they might curl the abdomen like a scorpion. Larvae: Larvae are relatively mobile and spend most time below ground. They look similar to the adults but less shiny and more soft-bodied. Eggs: Description unavailable. Eggs are laid in damp areas including moss and leaf litter.


Provides garden pest control. Larvae help churn the soil, increasing its natural formation.











The UK, Europe and in North Africa and some parts of North America

Biological treatment

These insects don't need to be removed from gardens.
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play