Bloody-nosed Beetles

I know autumn is on the way when I see these strange little creatures crawling around our house and garden…

Bloody-nosed Beetle (Tatzenkäfer)

Timarcha tenebricosa

Every year they climb the walls of the house…

Struggle up (and down) steps…

And try (usually in vain) to get into our home. (Although they do make it into the garage!)

The first year we saw them, we tried to rescue some to safer areas away from feet, doors or car tyres, and to our horror they started bleeding at the slightest touch! (Thus the name!) Then we looked them up and found they are not injured, but exude a red toxic fluid as a defence mechanism. “Reflex bleeding” occurs in many types of beetle, including ladybirds… in their case a yellowish-brown substance is released.

So, now I just let them go whichever way they want!

27 thoughts on “Bloody-nosed Beetles

  1. I can’t tell their size from the photos… but it’s interesting to learn about different things in different countries. This year it seems to be spiders for me… everywhere I turn spiders of all kinds and webs over everything. I guess it’s good to keep the other insects under control, but this year I’ve heard a report that a lot of poisonous spiders have moved into our area… brown recluse and black widow.

    So it’s a bit of a relief that your little bettle seems to be harmless. Wonder if it’s a vegetarian?

    • They’re about an inch long, with antenna. According to Wikipedia, the larva and beetles both feed on bedstraws. I’m glad I have them rather than poisonous spiders!

  2. Great photos. To be honest, I am not sure if my first thought would be to take a photo if I saw that in my house but I’m glad there are people like you that captures the beauty of all God’s creatures. lol

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