Subject: Looks like ants
Location: Huntsville, AL
December 12, 2015 8:43 am
We found this large ant-like bug inside the house near the back door. I thought it might be a queen due to its huge size (approx 25 mm). A few days later, however, we found another smaller one on the bathroom floor. I figured the odds of finding two queens was pretty slim, so now I’m stumped. I’m hoping they’re not carpenter ants, because they don’t seem to match any of the descriptions I’ve seen online.
Signature: Keith

Oil Beetle

Oil Beetle

Dear Keith,
This is not a queen Ant, though many of our readers mistake Oil Beetles for queen Ants.  Oil Beetles are Blister Beetles in the genus
Meloe, and they should not be handled as they secrete a compound cantharidin that may cause blistering in human skin.

Thanks for the info.  I was about to pick it up and toss it outside, because I thought it was just a ground beetle at first.  Once I got close to it and saw it wasn’t, I thought twice about picking it up.  I’m glad I didn’t!

Location: Huntsville, Alabama

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