Wednesday, October 7, 2009

American Oil Beetle

Meloe americanus

The reason these are called oil beetles is that if you touch them, they ooze a toxic oil from the joints of their legs. Another reason not to touch stuff in the woods! They are lovely beetles with iridescent legs and antennae. There are tiny purplish dots on its backend.

Identification confirmed at The folks at bugguide tell me this is a male beetle.
There are fascinating photos and videos of the life cycle of this beetle at Arkive.

Butterfield Pond Hike

American Oil Beetle Set

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