Entomology (Study of Bugs)/unknown bug


I live in southern new mexico and I have found a beetle, it has an almost ant like upper body, and a black (larger) beetle like lower body when i picked it up it emitted a strange hissing noise and a small puff of what can only be described as smoke. this smoke stained the tip of my finger. I am just curious as to what kind of bug this is.

Hi James
It appears that you have may picked up a type of Ground Beetle called a Bombardier Beetle. To discourage predators they have developed a complicated Chemical process whereby they eject a noxious gaseous compound. You were lucky because exposure to this chemical is usually quite painful.

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.