Subject: Baffled by Big Black Bug
Location: Beaverton, OR
April 26, 2014 7:41 pm
My son and I were in a nature park today, and found many of these large insects. They were ambling through short clover and grass by the side of the trail. I’ve been trying to identify them but am completely baffled! Any help greatly appreciated!
Signature: Laura B

Oil Beetle

Oil Beetle

Hi Laura,
This is one of the Blister Beetles in the genus
Meloe, and they are commonly called Oil Beetles.  We are uncertain of the exact species, however, according to BugGuide, Meloe strigulosus is found along the “Pacific coast from Kodiak, AK to Baja & AZ.”

Oil Beetle

Oil Beetle

Daniel,
Thank you so much!  The shape of its head had me thinking it was related to ants and wasps, and its unusual elytra had me thinking it could not be a beetle. I was totally on the wrong track. You are quite amazing! I definitely appreciate your hard work, which I know does much to spread the wonder of bugs.
Just in case it’s interesting, here’s another picture from the same excursion of a tiny critter we found in a pond.  My “Pond Life” book leads me to believe it’s not a larva but a mosquito pupa. I had no idea that pupas could be free swimming, lively animals as opposed to motionless inside a cocoon!
Thank you again,
Laura

Location: Beaverton, Oregon

2 Responses to Oil Beetles

  1. Esmeralda Marina says:

    Thank you! Portland we here trying to identify and this was super helpful

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