Subject: Halloween Oil Beetle Orgy
Location: New Haven, CT
November 17, 2015 7:54 pm
This group of oil beetles was having a party in one corner of a lawn in a residential New Haven, Connecticut neighborhood on the morning of October 31. They were all within a one-foot square and there were none anywhere else around.
Thanks to all the hours I’ve spent on your site, I knew exactly what they were! I had never seen any in person before.
The cell phone photos came out pretty well so I thought I’d contribute them for your archives.
You images of mating Oil Beetles from the genus Meloe are a wonderful addition to our archives. It would be curious to know what about the small area where you found them caused the Oil Beetles to congregate so amorously. According to BugGuide: “In males of some species mid-antennal segments are modified, and the c-shaped ‘kinks’ involving antennomeres V–VII are used to grasp female antennae during pre-mating displays.” The individual featured alone in your one image has these modified antennae, hence is a male.