Oil Beetle

Please help my 9 yr old Bug Lover ID this bug.
April 3, 2010
My son found this very blueish bug today April 3, 2010 while helping to clean the porch. He is sure it is a beetle but I could not verify it for him on any site or book we own. Thank you for your assistance. It was difficult getting a good picture as the thing was very quick. My young entomologist appreciates your help too.
Maria Firkaly
NorthWest Pennsylvania

Oil Beetle

Hi Maria,
We think your photograph is quite good.  This is an Oil Beetle, a Blister Beetle in the genus Meloe.  They should be handled with caution, or better yet, not handled at all.  The Oil Beetle is capable of secreting a fluid known as hemolymph that contains cantharidin, a substance that will irritate the skin.  You may read more about Oil Beetles on BugGuide.

Thank you! We were very careful not to handle it as we did not know what it was.  My son will be very pleased with this.  Maria

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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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