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Bloody nosed beetle: taking it on the chin

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Bloody nosed beetle: taking it on the chin

The bloody nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa) is out and about on the cliffs of the Dorset coast from quite early in the spring right through until late in the autumn. They can often be seen plodding slowly across footpaths on their way from one side to the other. 

The bloody nosed beetle cannot fly and has a rather slow walk so it is prone to attack from avian predators but it has a novel way of dealing with such events. If attacked, or indeed alarmed in any way, it extrudes a drop of red blood from its mouth and this is usually enough to frighten the bird off. In any event, the taste and smell of the fluid is probably good enough back up if the sight of it fails to deter the attacker.

It is quite common where it occurs, which is usually on cliffs near the sea; the top spot is Durlston Country Park.

 

 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 11 months ago

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