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Bloody-nosed beetle | by Giles Watson's poetry and prose
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Bloody-nosed beetle

Timarcha tenebricosa, or the bloody-nosed beetle, gets its name from its defensive behaviour: when handled, it pukes a blob of "blood". Apparently the liquid tastes foul, although I can't confess to having tried it. I rescued this beetle from certain trampling as it trundled across the Ridgeway, and when I put it on the gate that leads to Wayland's Smithy, it promptly performed its trick for me. A few minutes later, it wandered happily off.

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Taken on June 13, 2009