Oil Beetles leave tracks in the sand

Beetle at the beach
Location: Brigantine Beach, NJ
April 10, 2012 8:01 pm
Hello – These beautiful black beauties were discovered on one of the paths that lead through the dunes toward Brigantine Beach in New Jersey. I first noticed the awesome ’footprints’ then spotted half a dozen of these ’beetles’ (at last an inch-long and males slightly smaller than females) mating and simultaneously chomping on the first greens of the early spring March 24th, 2012.
Thank you
Signature: Naturelady Christina

Oil Beetles leaving tracks in the sand

Dear Naturelady Christina,
These are positively marvelous photos of Oil Beetles in the genus
Meloe.  The lighting really accentuates the tracks in the sand.  Oil Beetles are Blister Beetles that should be handled with caution as they exude a compound known as cantharidin that can cause blistering in skin.

Male Oil Beetle

  According to BugGuide, the individuals with the notched antennae are the males and they are generally smaller than the females.

Female Oil Beetle

Leave a Comment