Bombardier Beetle, a beetle named for its unique method of defense. When pursued, it discharges a toxic fluid from glands at the base of the abdomen. The liquid instantly vaporizes into a fine mist that lands on the predator, allowing the beetle to escape as the predator tries to cleanse itself of it. Bombardier beetles are light to dark blue. The head, antennae, and legs are brownish-yellow. Bombardier beetles live on the ground and eat pollen, berries, and seeds.

What Is the Bombardier Beetle’s Secret Weapon?

Many beetles have special ways of protecting themselves from predators. The bombardier (bahm buh DIHR) beetle produces two chemicals in separate parts of its body. When a predator attacks, the chemicals mix together in another body part. The chemical reaction causes a kind of explosion. The beetle squirts the burning mix of chemicals out of its abdomen and straight at the predator. The predator doesn’t like this and quickly leaves.

Sometimes the predator may already have the bombardier beetle in its mouth when the beetle squirts out its secret weapon. Then the surprised predator spits out the beetle and runs off with a bad taste in its mouth.

Bombardier beetles are of the genus Brachinus of the family Carabidae. B. fulmans is a common American species.