Oil Beetle

Subject:  Is this an invasive bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Jay Vermont
Date: 06/15/2019
Time: 10:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found today Jun 15, 2019 in short grass along driveway, close to a wooded area of Vermont.
How you want your letter signed:  Heather

Oil Beetle

Dear Heather,
This is an Oil Beetle in the genus Meloe, and it is native, not invasive.

Thanks so much!  This is our new favorite bug.  He did squirt some yellow stuff on my garden tool and I assumed it was hurt so just put it back where I found it.  Awesome.

Hi again Heather,
We would advise you to handle Oil Beetles as well as other Blister Beetles in the family Meloidae with caution because, according to BugGuide:  “Pressing, rubbing, or squashing blister beetles may cause them to exude hemolymph which contains the blistering compound cantharidin. Ingestion of blister beetles can be fatal. Eating blister beetles with hay may kill livestock. Cantharidin is commercially known as Spanish Fly.”

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