Currently viewing the category: "Blister Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Some find similar to d. coach horse/oil beetle(Staphylinidae)
Geographic location of the bug:  Granada, Spain
Date: 05/22/2018
Time: 10:09 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello Dr.
Found “she” on a basin in Sierra Nevada 20 days ago, had amazing size about 7cm long and due to the fact rove beetles are the biggest branch +64000 described and +800 just in GB its kind difficult to name it. May you help me to find out?
How you want your letter signed:  Dr Pachanga

Blister Beetle

Dear Dr. Pachanga,
This is not a Rove Beetle, but rather a Blister Beetle, and its red eyes are startling.  We wish your close-up had more clear details.  We believe we have correctly identified it as Berberomeloe insignis thanks to images by Peter Greenwood on FlickR here and again here on FlickR.

Blister Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Ant or wasp family?
Geographic location of the bug:  Ludlow, Vermont
Date: 12/16/2017
Time: 03:27 PM EDT
Curious as to what this is, having never seeing one before!
How you want your letter signed:  Gary Stevens

Oil Beetle

Dear Gary,
Though many folks mistake them for queen ants, this is actually an Oil Beetle in the genus
Meloe.  We will be postdating your submission to go live to our site at the end of the month when our editorial staff is away on holiday.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Central NJ (Edison)
Date: 11/26/2017
Time: 02:30 PM EDT
I saw this creature as I was taking a walk. It was fairly large in size – about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in size. I saw it just now right after Thanksgiving. I did a reverse image search. Google proclaimed it a stag beetle. Bing returned a lot of pages from Japan. The shapes and colors are correct, but the wings are too small. The two wings on this picture are tiny stubs. Beetles have full wings that cover the abdomen. Hornets have transparent wings.
How you want your letter signed:  David W.

Oil Beetle

Dear David,
Your claim that “Beetles have full wings that cover the abdomen” is true in most but not all cases.  This is an Oil Beetle, a species of Blister Beetle in the genus Meloe.  Oil Beetles are flightless.  There are other species of Blister Beetles with vestigial wings like this Spanish individual, and many species of Rove Beetles like the Devil’s Coach Horse also appear wingless, though their wings are described on BugGuide as “elytra short (about same length as pronotum, or only slightly longer; wings are functional in most), typically exposing 3-6 (usually 5-6) abdominal segments.”

Thank you for your reply. I was beginning to wonder if this was an invasive species.
I did an image search on Bing (Google said it was a stag beetle) and it pointed me to a bunch of Japanese pages (in Japanese, of course) with pictures of very similar looking bugs. One site (via Bing translate) identified it as a “miyamatsuchihanmjou” which wasn’t much help, but there was a note attached calling it a type of blister beetle and warning me not to touch it. (Not that I had any desire to do so).
I guess the Japanese maybe more attuned to nature, but seeing all of these Japanese pictures and none in America, I feared it was an invasive species.
I see that these live in my area of New Jersey and are mainly active in the spring.
Again, thank you for the quick ID.
David Weintraub

Hi again David,
North America also has Oil Beetles that are active in the fall.

Yes. I saw they’re active all year. By the way, this specimen was between 1 1/2 to 2 inches in length – much larger than the ones you have posing by the quarter. I was hoping to have a quarter or some object to put in the picture in order to judge its size, but didn’t have anything. I also resisted the urge to pick it up and move it somewhere with better contrast. I’m glad I did.
I found one species called a “short winged oil beetle”. This specimen was about the size of the one I saw and was also found in New Jersey during freezing weather. https://bugguide.net/node/view/37966
I see the larvae live in flowers, hitch a ride on a passing bee, and live in the hive eating honey, pollen, and bee larvae.
David Weintraub

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black insect with large abdomen
Geographic location of the bug:  Atlanta GA
Date: 11/04/2017
Time: 03:59 PM EDT
I found this fella on my gravel drive in ATL today, which is a warm (75) day in November. I have never seen anything like it.
Its antennae are quite segmented and the abdomen huge. About one inch in total length. Can you tell me what it is? It was alive but slow.
How you want your letter signed:  A little country in the middle of the city

Oil Beetle

This Blister Beetle in the genus Meloe is commonly called a Oil Beetle.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  big black bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Taunton, MA
Date: 10/24/2017
Time: 04:12 PM EDT
There was a small group of these bugs in the lawn – they seemed to be eating the leaves
How you want your letter signed:  Michele Restino

Oil Beetles

Dear Michele,
These Blister Beetles in the genus
Meloe are commonly called Oil Beetles.  We expect you might be able to witness mating activity if you are vigilant. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Help scary bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Michigan
Date: 10/10/2017
Time: 08:33 PM EDT
Please let me know what kind of bug this is
How you want your letter signed:  Charlee

Oil Beetle

Dear Charlee,
We just posted another image from Michigan of an Oil Beetle.  According to BugGuide:  “the common name refers to the habit of exuding yellowish oily liquid from the joints when molested” which your image illustrates. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination