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 –
Signature: Rachelle

Oil Beetles

Dear Rachelle,
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.

Location: Wisconsin

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