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 ?
Encounters Between Bombardier Beetles and Two Species of Toads (Bufo americanus, Bufo marinus): Speed of Spray Capture Does not Determine Success.
Chemistry of defensive secretions of bombardier beetles (Brachanini, Metriini, Ozaenini, Paussini).
A Reclassification of Bombardier Beetles and a Taxonomic Revision of the North and Middle American Species (Carabidae: Brachinida).
The bombardier beetle has been a subject of interest for many years.
The structure of the defense system of the bombardier beetle is complex, consisting of twin, bilateral sets of secretory lobes, which connect via long tubes to collecting reservoirs, (each of which is surrounded by a thin layer of muscle).
When the bombardier beetle is threatened (such as with a bite on the limb) it contracts its collection reservoirs, moving the hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinones into the reaction chamber through the valves.
As discussed, this bombardier beetle has a particularly high accuracy for hitting its intended target.
The protective role of the spray mechanism of the bombardier beetle, Brachynus ballistarius.