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American Oil Beetle (Blister Beetle)

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by Tim Benzedrine, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Arachnosupporter

    I had intended to post this for an ID as I had never seen anything like it. It looked like an ant and a bed-bug and maybe a roach got drunk and had a threesome and this was the result.
    But after referring to one of my field guides and then using the 'net to confirm, I decided I had a an American Oil Beetle or Blister Bug, Meloe americanus(?) It was a fairly large fellow, I'd estimate somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1" to 1 1/2".

    I decided to go ahead and post a couple snaps anyway, in case they would be of interest to anybody. This bug had an interesting habit of playing dead at the slightest touch. Of course, after I made a positive ID, the slightest touch was all I was willing to give it!
    Here are a couple of photos, one of it "on the hoof", the other shows it's very realistic ability to play possum. It would maintain that posture for about a minute and then would get up and try to head for the hills.

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    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  2. crpy

    crpy Arachnoking

    yep, allot of beetles "feign" death, awesome pic wow
  3. Widowman10

    Widowman10 Arachnoemperor

    yeah those things are pretty crazy. i pick tons of them up at my house, never had any probs with them though...