BWE: Chemical defence

Many creatures have special features we are not aware of. Look at the beetle in the photo – do you think, it is a special one? No? Indeed it is! To experience this special feature, I wanted to encounter the little beetle – many thanks to Claus W. who finally helped me to find it!!

It is small, less than 10 mm and it’s name is Brachinus crepitans – in english Bombardier beetle (in German Bombardierkäfer). This name tells the truth: it is able to mix two different chemicals (Hydroquinone and Hydrogen Peroxide) in a special reaction chamber in its abdomen. As soon as it adds special enzymes, the beetle spouts this fluid out against a potential offender. This fluid is acidly, ill-smelling, has about 100°C and while the intense reaction there is a pop.

It is even possible to hear this pop! Listen to the little explosion here.

Amazing, isn’t it?!

BWE: Chemical defence