Bombardier beetle, SEM

Bombardier beetle, SEM

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Caption: Bombardier beetle. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a bombardier beetle (Brachinus sp.). This predatory insect confuses its prey and potential predators by spraying a glandular fluid from its anus at them. This noxious fluid, which can be as hot as boiling water, vapourises on contact with the air to create a characteristic popping sound. The beetle hunts at night, its main prey being small insects and caterpillars. Bombardier beetles are gregarious, spending most of the year in communal groups, but they disperse in spring for mating and egg laying. Bombardier beetles are found around the world. Magnification: x27.5 at 6x6cm size.

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Keywords: animal, beetle, bombardier, bombardier beetle, brachinus sp., insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, scanning electron micrograph, wildlife, zoology

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