Subject: To Beetle or not to Beetle?
Location: Central Oklahoma
September 14, 2013 4:42 pm
Trying desperately to identify this bug. Seems it may be a beetle of some sort, but am unable to find any referenced anywhere. It is solid black with some red markings beneath the two ”wings”. The ”wings” lay flat on the back; the wing on the right is damaged. Found in central Oklahoma this week.
Signature: Okie Bugs
Hi Okie Bugs,
Prior to doing any research, we were convinced that this must be an Oil Beetle, a group of Blister Beetles in the genus Meloe. The only unusual feature is the red markings which we have not seen on an Oil Beetle before. We couldn’t find any examples of Oil Beetles with red markings on BugGuide, so we tried to search other genera of Blister Beetles. We were surprised to find images of Lytta sublaevis on BugGuide, and they look like your beetle, though Lytta sublaevis also has red markings on the head and thorax. Additionally, Lytta sublaevis is only found in California. We can say for certain this is a Blister Beetle, and we strongly suspect it is an Oil Beetle in the genus Meloe, but we cannot guarantee that with any certainty. We will continue to research this matter and we welcome any assistance our readership can provide.
Eric Eaton provides a correction
This is Epicauta conferta: