Subject: Beetle ID please
Location: TwinLakes, WI, USA
October 18, 2012 11:52 pm
Hi-Found two amazing critters: one 40mm, the other 30mm long. They were in a recently aerated lawn area a few yards apart from each other. 50* temps, good rainy days, shady part of property, TwinLakes, WI, USA. I’ve been digging in the dirt for 30+ years and have never seen this sort of insect. Smaller one gets on the back of the larger one…alot. Male/female? How to tell them apart other than size? or not. Thanks for your time –
These are Oil Beetles in the genus Meloe, and there may be as many as 22 species in North America according to BugGuide. Also according to BugGuide: “Males smaller than females, with modified antennae.” We cannot discern the smaller individual’s antennae in your photo because the slow shutter speed resulted in a blur. Are the two solo shots photos of the larger or smaller individual, because that individual is a female. We wonder if this is a viable pair or a same sex couple.