Bombardier beetle Introduction
Bombardier beetles have the infamous ability to synthesize and release rapid bursts of stinky, burning-hot liquid from their rear ends. These noxious emissions can kill other insects, or startle potential predators into backing off. These chemical “bombs” are the source of their name: Bombardier beetles. But there’s not just one type. In fact, there are over 500 species of Bombardier beetles around the planet, many in the genus Brachinus, and more than 40 species in the United States alone. They live in many different ecosystems, from forests to grasslands to deserts. Most are around the size of a fingernail, and many have dark-coloured abdomens with reddish legs, heads, and antennae. Bombardier emissions range from slow secretions to rapid bursts, hot enough to burn and stain human skin. Their caustic defences irritate the eyes and respiratory system of predators, often inflicting painful but temporary incapacitation.
Keywords to learn
Noxious: Harmful, poisonous, or very unpleasant
Hey Kids, my name is Bailey the Bombardier beetle and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @
- Scientific Name:Beetle Subfamilies Brachininae and Paussinae.
- Mass:Data not found.
- Length:Up to one inch in length.
- Region found:Worldwide.
- Population Status:Not evaluated.
- Current population trend:Unknown.
- Sexual maturity:No data.
The Bombardier beetle have the infamous ability to synthesize and release rapid bursts of stinky, burning-hot liquid from their rear ends. These noxious emissions can kill other insects, or startle potential predators into backing off.
Now that you know more about the Bombardier beetle by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.
Download questions about the Bombardier beetle here: Bombardier Beetle (answers are on this page)
Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on beetle. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets
bombardier beetle Facts for Kids
- # 1. Sometimes, their explosive emissions can even save their lives once they’ve been swallowed. Frogs, for example, have been known to regurgitate Bombardiers after realizing the insects weren’t exactly palatable.
- # 2. Creating a boiling-hot chemical bomb inside your body is no easy task. These tiny beetles rely on an elaborate internal network of reservoirs and chambers to synthesize their blasts safely.
- # 3. The Bombardiers beetle’s explosive power is derived primarily from the mixture of two chemical compounds—hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide—that are stored in separate reservoirs in the abdomen.
- # 4. The chemicals then pass through a valve before meeting in a special chamber, along with an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction. This creates gases that rapidly expand and give off heat.
- # 5. Beetles can open and close valves to this reaction chamber rapidly, fast enough to produce up to 500 explosive bursts in a second. These insects can also aim the chemical sprays at prey, using their rear ends like a noxious water pistol.
# 1. What is the average length of the Bombardier beetle?
# 2. What is the average lifespan of the Bombardier beetle?
# 3. What is the diet of the Bombardier beetle?
# 4. How many species of Bombardier beetle are there in the US?
# 5. Explain the Bombardier beetle’s mechanism of defence?