It might look like just another boring beetle to you or me, but expert insect hunter Peter Webb knows he's in the presence of an ant-exploiting, explosively armed superbug. Meet the ant nest beetle...

“And the beetles' crafty defence strategies don’t stop there. When threatened, they're also capable of expelling a caustic liquid that explodes audibly (complete with a puff of smoke!)”

Being out in the field and finding something rare is always an exciting thing ... but finding a rarity with an extraordinary lifestyle is even better. Spending a day peeking under rocks and stones for interesting discoveries may not sound exciting to everyone … but for me it’s like opening up presents on Christmas Day (just a little more strenuous). You have no clue what to expect: it might be the flash of a lizard running for its life, the flick of a snake disappearing into the grass or even a face-to-face encounter with a large, angry spider.  

Heading into the depths of the African winter, things have appeared a lot quieter out there than usual … that’s until I turned over a rock and noticed a small beetle moving quite calmly amongst a colony of frantic ants. It was the rare ant nest beetle! 

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So, next time you turn over a rock and spot a harmless-looking beetle amongst a flurry of ants, you may want to be a little cautious. Getting too close could have some, er, explosive consequences.