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🧠 This post is part of my brain gain series.

After clicking on my random Wikipedia article bookmark, this one came up. There isn’t much information. Just that it’s, “a species of ground beetle in the subfamily Scaritinae.”

These are big beetles. I think I can recall seeing a beetle like this growing up, but I haven’t seen one in a while. Roaches, ants, and various spiders are typically what I see around here.

This is a huge family. Clivina montei is in the subfamily Scaritinae. But, that’s a subfamily of Carabidae, aka, the ground beetle. There are over 40,000 species worldwide classified as a ground beetle.

Most are carnivores and eat up insects humans consider to be pests. Therefore, usually, the beetle is one of the more tolerated insects since they are considered beneficial.

Although generally beneficial, you probably don’t want to cuddle them. “The Anthiini can mechanically squirt their defensive secretions for considerable distances and are able to aim with a startling degree of accuracy; in Afrikaans, they are known as oogpisters (“eye-pissers”).” Charles Darwin apparently got sprayed by one. It was obnoxious enough for him to write about the experience.

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Billy Wilcosky