Oil Beetle

Subject: Turquoise Bug
Location: Deep Creek, MD
October 5, 2015 9:02 am
No idea what kind of bug this is, but he sure is cool looking! Any ideas?
Signature: Drew N

Oil Beetle
Oil Beetle

Dear Drew,
This is a Blister Beetle in the genus Meloe, a group commonly called Oil Beetles.  According to BugGuide:  “the common name refers to the habit of exuding yellowish oily liquid from the joints when molested” and Blister Beetles are known for secreting a compound known as cantharidin that is known to cause blistering in human skin, but we are going to propose another origin for the name Oil Beetle.  Your own subject line calls this a turquoise bug, and these black beetles have a sheen that often reflects light back in different colors the same way that oil on the surface of water reflects light, and we believe that may the the origin of the common name Oil Beetle.

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