Bombardier Beetles


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Bombardier Beetles

 

(Brachininae), a subfamily of beetles of the family Carabidae. The body of the bombardier beetle is less than 1 cm long. There are 447 species altogether, 97 of which are found in the USSR. A common species in the USSR, Brachinus crepitans, has a red head, red thorax, red legs, and blue-black wing cases. It is 6–10 mm long. In defending itself, a bombardier beetle squirts out from the hind part of its body an acrid liquid secreted by special glands. On contact with the air, this liquid turns into a vapor with a loud crack as if it is exploding (hence the name of the insect). The vapor which forms has an unpleasant odor. In the USSR bombardier beetles are found mostly in the southern regions, where they live under stones, logs, and other objects. The larvae of bombardier beetles develop in the soil and parasitize the pupae of various beetles.

References in periodicals archive ?
Forsyth (1972) describes the spray nozzle as a "gaping aperture," at the ninth tergite (a plate of abdominal cuticle), or as a "short membranous tube" in different species of bombardier beetles.
Several bombardier beetles (most notably Brachinini) show the ability to direct their spray in almost any direction, accurately enough to target different limbs (what the attacker usually bites or grasps), as well as different leg segments of the same limb (Dean et al.
The chemistry of the bombardier beetle (Coleoptera, Carabidae) IV.
Spray mechanism of the most primitive bombardier beetle (Metrius contractus).
The protective role of the spray mechanism of the bombardier beetle, Brachynus ballistarius.
As discussed, this bombardier beetle has a particularly high accuracy for hitting its intended target.