metallic blue and black bug
Location: Rhide Island, USA
November 10, 2011 7:58 am
My kids found this in my backyard, in Rhode Island. It was taken with my android phone using it’s macro setting, if you look closely you can see a smaller orangish bug on its back, just behind his head. Could it be a baby or a little helper?
Signature: W Mcquade

Oil Beetle

Dear w Mcquade,
This is an Oil Beetle, a species of Blister Beetle.  Blister Beetles can exude a compound known as cantharidin that is a blistering agent, so Blister Beetles should not be handled.  We cannot make out the identity of the hitchhiker.  It is not a baby blister Beetle.  It may be a Phoretic Mite, but we have not heard of any Mites that use Blister Beetles for transportation.

Location: Rhode Island

3 Responses to Oil Beetle

  1. katfoll says:

    The hitchhiker appears to be a tick.

  2. bmoc says:

    Not a tick, but a larval velvet mite. These are true parasites as larvae. Post-larval stages are predators.

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