Meaning of devil's coach-horse in English:

devil's coach-horse


  • A large black predatory rove beetle which raises its hind end and opens its jaws in a threatening manner when disturbed.

    Staphylinus olens, family Staphylinidae

    ‘The devil's coach-horse is a carnivorous insect, feeding on other insects and small creatures.’
    • ‘‘It's a devil's coach-horse beetle,’ Hedgehog said, ‘they say that when it comes the Devil will be sure to follow.’’
    • ‘With the help of specially designed monoclonal antibodies, they collected devil's coach-horse beetles and analysed their guts.’
    • ‘Devil's books ‘playing cards’ is from 1729, but the cited quote says they've been called that ‘time out of mind’ (the four of clubs is the devil's bedposts); devil's coach-horse is from 1840, the large rove-beetle, which is defiant when disturbed.’
    • ‘The devil's coach-horse beetle is a very common and widespread European beetle, belonging to the large family of the Rove beetles (Staphylinidae).’