What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Large Black Torpedo-Shaped Insect
Location: Franklin County, TN
November 16, 2013 10:10 pm
First off, I love your site! Keep up the great work!
I’m writing for two reasons:
One, I’d love some help identifying the insect in the first two photos. I live in rural southern-middle Tennessee, and I encountered it on my porch, in the evening, on January 11, 2013. Almost a year ago, I know…I kept forgetting to write! Since moving here, I’ve become very familiar with many of our natural neighbors, but I’ve never seen anything like this! My wife and I have a very good relationship with the surrounding wildlife and exercise a no-kill policy 99.9% of the time (red wasps (in the house only) being the exception). There was something about this insect that said ”Do not touch!” Something rather menacing. I thought it was dead at first, but it started moving very slowly while I was photographing it. After taking the pictures, I went inside, and it was gone the next morning. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks again for your hard work, and hopefully for some help with my shiny black porch insect!
Signature: Laine

Possibly Oil Beetle

Possibly Oil Beetle

Hi Laine,
We are splitting your request into two distinct postings.  We cannot say for certain what the large, black, torpedo shaped insect is, but our initial guess is possibly an Oil Beetle, a type of Blister Beetle in the genus Meloe.  We wish your photo included a view of the head.  See BugGuide to compare additional photos.

Hey Daniel-
Thanks! That’s absolutely what it was. Yeah, not my finest moment as a photographer. Ha! Thanks so much for solving this mystery for me. Just spent 15 minutes reading about oil beetles…fascinating! Thanks again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Franklin County, Tennessee

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