Scientific name: Blaps mucronata
Size: Approx 30mm long
Distribution: Found in several parts of the UK. Most sightings in southern England and Wales
Months seen: April to September. Active at night
Life Span: Approximately 9 - 12 months
Habitat: Dark and damp habitats such as stables, barns, sheds, caves and sometimes attic spaces
Food: Cereals and vegetable matter
Special features: Churchyard Beetles, or as they are sometimes called Cellar Beetles are flightless, long-legged, nocturnal beetles which can be recognised by the pointed extensions at the ends of the wing casings (see photo above) which looks a bit like a tail. They are entirely black in colour with the exception of the mouthparts which have an orange fringe.
Churchyard Beetles used to be fairly common in homes where they would live below floorboards and scavenge any crumbs which fell through the gaps. The one in the photos above was kept happy by feeding it some bread crust.
When alarmed these beetles lower their head and raise up on their rear legs as if they are about to do a handstand. If provoked too much they will shoot a foul smelling fluid from their rear ends. Avoid getting this on your skin as it can irritate.