Monday, April 19, 2010

American Oil Beetle

                                                                                                  Oil Beetles are in the family Meloidae which includes the Blister Beetles. Oil beetles are flightless as they lack significant wings, instead they have stubby, shortened wing-pads that do not cover their overly enlarged awkward-looking abdomen. This specimen was found near a shed on my husband's uncles place. It was crawling around on the ground. They move quite rapidly for something so oddly cumbersome looking. We placed the beetle in a container to bring home and within minutes the bottom of the container was coated with a yellowish oily-like substance. I assume it is this substance from which the beetles get their common name. I believe this particular species is the American Oil Beetle (Meloe americanus) which ranges throughout the Eastern United States and parts of Canada. They are relatively large at up to 1 1/2 inches in length. Their bodies are all black, with some iridescence. The oversized abdomen will be very ridged in appearance....these are unmistakable beetles. To see one is to KNOW one. Like other blister beetles this beetle also possess a chemical called cantharidin , this chemical exudes from their legs when threatened. This liquid ooze causes painful blisters. The chemical within this liquid secretion has been used in the production of various "date rape" drugs.

It is not fully known what the adults feed on, but it could be flowers. These beetles have a unique life cycle. The female will lay her eggs near the base of various flowers. When the eggs hatch the newly born larvae must climb up the stalks to the blooming flowers. Then the young larvae will cluster together and form a shape that very much resembles a female solitary ground bee. To make the ruse even more complete they even emit a pheromone that very much smells like the female bee....in fact it is so good that male bees are often fooled and come to "mate" with the cluster of larvae. By the time he realizes his mistake the little larvae have climbed on board. The male bee will carry his stowaways along with him as he locates a "real female" to mate with. During mating the larvae transfer to the female who will then carry them to her underground nest. The little interlopers will remain behind in the burrow and feed on the bees offspring and the honey stores she provided to feed them. The beetle larvae will remain in the burrow to pupate and later will emerge as the wingless prodigy of their parents. Mother Nature offers no limitations on deceit.

88 comments:

  1. Wow. What a story. Like Law and Order if they ever start an insect spin-off from that series.

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  2. LOL, could imagine an insect show dedicated to law and order of insect life? What a show that would be. I think people are missing the boat with these nature shows...there needs to be more on insects!!!!

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  3. P.S. Maria did you get my card in the mail?

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  4. If I saw one, my first thought would be that it's a weirdly-proportioned ant.

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  5. The huge abdomen indicates this is a gravid female. The males are much smaller but still have the abdomen exposed.

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  6. Thanks for the info Ted, I wondered whether it was a female or a male and how to tell the difference. This was the first time I've ever seen one of these beetles.

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  7. Its in my house and I want it out and it won't leave HOW! I am scarred of bugs especially huge ones like this one

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  8. If you are serious....then I would suggest scooping it into a container and placing it outside...if you are too afraid to do so perhaps you have a neighbor or friend that would do it for you.

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  9. Oh I'd hate to have these bugs in my house! We saw some mid August while fishing. I'd never seen anything like it. Weird weird wierd looking things! They are quick for their strange design!

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  10. Hello, I don't mean to post an anonymous comment, but I'm having trouble posting it any other way. We have just moved into a new home, and there are HUNDREDS of these bugs all over the lawn. I don't remember seeing them on any of the previous visits to the home. They appear to be mostly coming from a neighbor's lawn. (or at least that direction). What is attracting them? How do we get rid of them? Thanks!

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  11. No problem at all in leaving an anonymous response, I know sometimes blogger can be troublesome when it comes to posting comments. I've not ever heard of these particular beetles congregating in large numbers, but I do know their cousin the black blister beetle will. They are often found in significant numbers feeding on nectar and pollen of the goldenrod. Because of the unique lifecycle of this particular beetle perhaps they are attracted to your area because of flowers. Do you or your neighbor have any flower beds? Could be they are laying eggs, or feeding. I will try to do some research on this for you and come up with a better answer providing I can find one. You might try asking Ted over at Beetles in the Bush or Art over at "whats bugging you" Both are beetle experts and may have some incite to the behavior you are describing.

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  12. Thanks! After reading about the black blister beetle, I'm pretty sure they are NOT that. None of the ones I have seen in the yard or driveway have any reddish-brown features. We just moved in, and there weren't any flower beds. There was a smallish garden, but it is on the other side of the property from where the bugs seem to be coming from. There are no goldenrod patches or flowerbeds in the neighbor's lawn, either. I will try to get some good pictures and post them. Thanks again!

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    1. Yes! I have hundreds of them to in my front yard I found most of them mating and I sprayed them with a strong bug spray. If you put one in a jar they leak an oily substance from there back end the jar will be all sticky with oil. Perhaps if you only see one take a closer look in the grass you will see hundreds they climb to the drive way where it is warm disgusting creatures I walked out every 10 minutes to kill them with the spray . .

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  13. I found one in my front yard and I wasn't able to find an ID until now. The one I found I thought was a giant queen ant, because the head looks so similar. It had its head in the earth digging, I moved it with a small stick, (glad I did). It walked around a little bit and seemed to be searching for something. I came back later to find it had dug another hole and put its butt end into it. Maybe it was having babies?

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  14. We have a lot of these in our front yard under our Magnolia tree. We live in CT. Are these causing the problems with the honey bees that we keep hearing about? This is the second time (year) that they are showing up in our front yard. Any ideas on what, why, or if we need to get rid of them? I have not seen any ground bees in our yard or neighbors yards in years.
    Thanks!

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  15. I just found at least 15 or more in an small area of a yard. There are no flowers in that area. It is in the low 40 degrees at night here. They are full size and seem sluggish in the cold. I live in west Michigan, near Grand Rapids, MI.

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  16. andrea- Southern NJOctober 19, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    UGH! My husband and I came across these disgusting things yesterday on our front lawn. We found about 15 of them in an area of about 20 by 20 feet. Thank God I did not touch them with my hands after reading the ssecretions cause painful blisters! They secreted that yellowy-orange oil all over the container we put them in.

    They are rather startling to discover because of their size. We thought they were some kind of ant or wingless wasp at first.

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  17. These beetles have generated a lot of interest this year. Seems people are seeing them in large numbers. The one I photographed here is the one and only I have ever seen. They are unique beetles to be sure. I appreciate each one of you sharing your experiences with me, I really enjoy reading them.

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  18. hey i am also from the grand rapoids area... and have hunreds of these in my yard and believe me they are freaky... i have a pear tree and a crab apple tree in my yard but they are scattered throughout my yard and alot of them in clusters ranging from about 10 to 20 beetles. Does anyone know how to get rid of them or if they cause damage, what do they feed on? i don't even feel safe letting my kids play in the yard!

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  19. hi it is very useful the comments that i found here. after i found 6 of these in my yard. i thought i was discovering a new spices of insects now i know what they are. i would like some one if you know to write if there is a specific time of the year they come out and how long they live for October 23,2010 3:30 pm time of my amazing discovery.

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  20. Sorry I forgot to put my location, I live in Central New Jersey.

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  21. saw these bugs for the first time in my life today; there were hundreds of them in the grass at a nearby park; I'm in springfield, MA.

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  22. just found about over 20 in my backyard in south jersey. Some were digging in the dirt, others were munching on the grass, and 2 pairs appeared to be mating! I nudged a couple with my shoe and it seems that when they sense danger they stand still. I've never seen them before and i discovered a colony of flying ants nearby. I'm not sure if the two discoveries are related.

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  23. how do i get rid of these American oil beetles

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  24. These beetles emerge and mate in large numbers in the fall. They are harmless and do not cause any damage. For those who have any appreciation of the natural world, the spectacle of their mass fall matings is a sight worth seeing. For those who don't, they will only be a temporary nuisance until first frost comes.

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  25. We are in Maryland and literally have hundreds in our yard. I am glad to see that we are not alone in this experience. Thanks for the info posted here.

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  26. I live in Jackson, Michigan and these just showed up in my yard in the last month you can see them everywhere just walking in the grass. I have lived all over Jackson my whole life and never seen this before. I am stepping on them to kill them but they keep coming when smashed they have like a neon color inside my concern they stand out so much that my GREAT DANE PUPPY IS EATING THEM and I think they make her sick can they be harmful to pets when ate? THIS IS GROSS PLEASE HOW DO WE GET RIDE OF THEM

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  27. We're in the Trenton, NJ area. My husband just came across one of these beetles this afternoon. Never saw anything like this before, so he put it in a bottle (luckily with a leaf) and brought it home for me. I posted it on BugGuide to find out WHAT THE HELL IT WAS! This evening I had already gotten a response letting me know we have a female Oil Beetle. Really glad because it looked too much lika a monster termite queen! I've always been fascinated with insects. This is the 2nd new insect for us this year. We found 2 Camel Crickets in our basement this year. Another amazing looking bug! Kept them in an aquarium but they passed after a few months. Wondering if I should keep this oil beetle over the winter. I've kept spiders, but don't know what to feed the beetle. There is an assortment of insects in there already We thought the beetle may be eating ants because it was digging into an ant colony when my husband found it. He thought it may have been eating the ants, but maybe it was looking for a place to spend the winter. I took some photos that I posted on BugGuide, and my husband took some videos of the beetle digging. Is there any way to post any of that on this site? May put it on youtube. Did find a really good one on there posted by "Doug Teg."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyMgrosmbPo
    Glad to read all the posts here. Thanks for your site.

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  28. Anonymous in Jackson, I really don't know of any good way to get rid of them. Like Ted mentioned above they are gathering in large numbers during the fall to mate. They will leave on their own soon and you shouldn't be troubled any longer by their presence. As far as harming your dog or making her sick, I am really not an expert, you might ask your vet if it is possible. I know horses can become sick and even die if they ingest beetles of this type (granted it takes A LOT of beetles to do that, but the danger is still there) I would try keeping your dog away from them until the beetles leave....or if you are really concerned you can always try some type of chemical control. Be sure to call a pest control person to see if they have any suggestions as to what would work. I personally don't advocate killing them and I am truthfully jealous that you are witnessing such a grand spectacle as this. Good luck

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  29. The homestead that I live on has a double lot. The caretaker "took out" the mulberry/grapevine that was in the middle of the 2nd lot. On Sept. 17, 2010 we were literally invaded with these American Oil Beetles. They did climb the wall of the house and got under the vinyl siding. I tried just about everything environmentally "friendly" to discourage/get rid of these creatures (chili powder, hot pepper spray, etc.)-nothing stopped them. Without exaggeration, there would be 100's of them in the backyard every mid-day! I called on an ec0-friendly exterminator and he had never seen anything like it. In fact he wasn't sure that his Chrysanthemums dust would be effective at all as he had never dealt with them. There appears to be an unnatural imbalance in the backyard as these creature has taken over. How do I get a handle on this in the spring? Do they hibernate for the winter? Do I want to get rid of them or are they an important part of natures balance?

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  30. Hi I am having yet another problem with this oilbeetle. It is a nuisance and gross. It appears they eat my grass and they are poisonous I hear now? It is not a spectacle to behold!! I send my kids around smashing them and now I hear they have toxic secretions?! Great! And they hurt bees? How is this beneficial again????

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  31. I am so sorry to hear that you are having such an unfortunate time with these beetles. Yes, it is true that they do have oily secretions that can be toxic, but only if you handle them. They can cause superficial blisters if you pick them up.....just warn your kids to not touch them and they should be fine. If your children were to put them in their mouths then yes they would be poisonous. While it is true that they use bee larvae to rear their young this is just all part of mother natures design. They do not use honey bees, only ground bees. All creatures have something that preys on them, whether it is insects, mammals, birds, fish, etc. they all have predators, in the case of the solitary bee, it has the oil beetle that preys on it. I do not know if they eat grass, not sure that has ever been documented. If you are witnessing them eating grass, is it possible to get a picture of this activity? Try to be patient with these unique little beetles. I really do not know of a good way to get rid of them....spraying chemicals may cause more harm than good by exposing your children and pets to toxic man-made chemicals, which truthfully is worse than the chemical that these beetles emit.

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  32. I had never seen these bugs before tonight when I went out back to bring the dogs out. One of the dogs were pawing at it. I picked it up to "save it". Thank goodness I washed my hands right away when the orange secretions get on me! Anyway, are these bugs poisonous to my dogs? I don't suppose you'd know if they were bitter-tasting, would you?

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  33. Just saw these at my parents camp site in Pierston In. for the first time ever, I found like 5 of them and put most of those in the fire, glad I did too (have a 3 yr old daughter)and noticed that they also "play dead" found one the seemed to be munching on one of the fallen tree leaves (kinda looked like a fern leaf)

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  34. Sorry to hear that these beetles met an untimely demise in the fire. They truly are harmless to pets and people, unless of course you put them in your mouth. Your young daughter was in no immediate danger from them, and it is the perfect opportunity to explain to your daughter how some things exist that perhaps we shouldn't handle, but they serve a purpose. I always say never pass up a chance to teach our youth the importance of tolerance and co-existence with God's creatures....even the icky ones :o)

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  35. I live in Southern New Jersey. For the first time in my life I have seen this strange looking creature. I have shown it to friends and coworkers and no one else has seen them. I have them in my back yard and they seem to be moving closer to my house. Are they known to come inside the home? Has anyone been attacked by these beetles? Do they hide or will they crawl close enough to crawl onto a person. Does the oil dry quickly and lose its potentcy? Im scared. Weve had two frost and they are still here. Plenty of them still crawling around. Why my house? I dont have plants or animals. Just a few bushes that bloom in the spring time.

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  36. My dad found a few of them outside today. Until I looked them up, we both thought it was an invading or new species. He's never seen anything like them before and neither have I. He was careful not to touch them, and put them in a container. He saved them for identification purposes, just in case. now we are wondering what they eat, exactly. Hopefully not wood.

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  37. I also live in South Jersey..and recently I have noted these insects all over my yard..Two were in the middle of reproducing..I also caught one and fed it to my carnivorous plant..they don't seem to bother anything and I havent gone out of my way to kill any..I felt that perhaps they have a cyclical life cycle and it is like the cicada..And this may be their year to reproduce..I don't see them as harmful as to the fact I don't plan on putting them in my mouth..Just saying..thanks for info..

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  38. i found one in my house in my bed. how do you get rid of them, sorry it sounds like you like this little creatures but im not into bugs i put it in a cup and it swims then i thought it was dead so i wanted to inspect it so i took it out of the cup and for like 10 mins it played dead then started crawling around again. i would love them gone. it was on my pillow ehhhhhhhh

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  39. Down here in NC we have discovered an oil beetle, too... We've had a mild winter so far which would explain why we've found one on January 1, 2012, strolling across the driveway. It took a while to get it identified, but what a cool bug this turns out to be! I am glad to read that they are harmless. Of course, I want to know if they contribute to the decline of bees. England is seeing drops in their numbers probably because of the decline in bee population numbers and flowering grasslands. Anyway, thanks for the info.

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  40. I just found an oil beetle in my garage. it is very cold and struggling but still alive.Asheville NC,

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  41. OH MY GOODNESS! I have never been so happy in my life to read about these beetles. We have had a problem with these beetles for almost three years now! They are getting worse. We live in the city (Akron, OH), and it is OUT of CONTROL. They are everywhere! The bad news? We have had a really warm winter. Usually by spring, they are gone, but I have seen several of them in the past few days. It is embarrasing to have company over with these icky critters crawling around everywhere. They often get into our home, and I have a two year old daughter!!! We never play in our own yard anymore because I am so disgusted by these critters (slightly fascinated too). I would love to know how to get rid of them. Just as a side note, we have always had ground dwelling solitary bees that come every spring just for a few weeks. Although there are hundreds of them, they have never caused any harm other than putting small holes in our yard that go away once they leave. I think the beetles have come to eat them. I would much rather have the bees. I love God's critters, but these have GOT TO GO!

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  42. I live in Louisiana- this is March and about 45 degrees outside- Went outside after dark and had 2 crawling on me. In the dark, this is not a pleasant feeling.This is the first time I have ever seen this type of beetleand I have lived here 52 years. Yes. they are a disgusting little bug.

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  43. Thanks for the site and information but this leaves me with even more questions and reseach on this bettle. I noticed about a dozen of these huge and shiny black bettles crawling around a somewhat sandy spot in my yard recently. I live in Maryland and had never seen this bug before then.

    Not one who normally kills bugs of any kind but I had my hands deep in the soil and surrounding area of land. So I speared a few of these bettles and set them aside for review after my yard work was completed. Two hours later after I went to further investigate the beetles had crawled away even with the spear through the abdomen and oozing oil.

    These are tough beetles! Probably won't harpoon anymore but will investigate the potential bee destruction. Will also search for a natural predator for these Oil Beetles? Do you know of any natural predators for this beetle?

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  44. I just found these in the leaf litter in the garden, close to the post for the bee house. Should I trap and detroy them to save my bees?

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    1. I would say it is okay to leave the beetles alone, what few bees they target for their offspring won't hurt the over all population of bees in your area.

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  45. I am in central Maryland; these beetles returned this week. I first saw them in April 2011 on my lawn. Around mid-May 2011, I did not see them anymore, which was fine with me! Should I worry about my dogs stepping on them in the yard?

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  46. hi im jeanette from southern (crossville)Illinois. I just found one of these bugs on my porch and decided to look it up. mine also secreted the orange oil. gross! although very pretty at first site (bluish black) sorry to say it is no longer with us as i love my little bees and my fruit trees! :)

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  47. Canton Ohio getting these beetles as well. Is the population on an up swing? I had never seen them before, and have had multiple in my house this year. If they stayed outside they would not be a problem. Any way to get them out of or prevent from coming in the house? I would prefer a method other than the loud crunch they make.

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  48. Wow....I just found the most incredibly intense blue massive bug - like a cross between an oversized ant, a wasp and a Smurf. It was crawling in the leaves in my yard. Only one. I'm in mid coast Maine. Glad I didn't pick it up! He was a really cool color of blue.

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  49. I found a few today here in the foothills of CO, about 30 miles west of Fort Collins at about 7500' elevation. Never seen anything like them but this is definitely the critter. Was at a neighbors house, she has fantastics flower gardens (maybe that's why??) odd.

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  50. Seeing them up here at a neighbors house in CO at about 7500' elevation in the mountains today. Never saw one before but it's definitely the same critter being discussed here.

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  51. Just saw one for the first time in the dead leaves. We live in central Ontario Canada. Apparently freezing temps don't bother these cool things.

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  52. Found one in our yard today - south jersey. We had a warm winter, and spring has been great - mostly in the 70's. The beetle seemed harmless, and played dead when I put my hand near it. But I'm glad I didn't touch it. No bother to us, but I hope we don't get a whole bunch of them starting to crawl into the house...that would definitely be a nuisance.

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  53. HELP....I HAVE THESE BLACK BEETLES IN MY HOUSE AND YARD...HOWEVER THE ONES IM SEEING CAN FLY...SO IM ASSUMING ITS NOT THE OIL BEETLE....I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO TO GET RID OF THEM...WE HAVE A 2 AND 5 YEAR OLD AND THEY ALONG WITH THEIR MOMMA ARE FREAKING OUT OVER SEEING THESE BLACK BUGS EVERYWHERE..I KNOW THE WINTER HELPS KILL OFF MANY BUGS BUT DUE TO THIS YEARS MILD WINTER I THINK MANY SURVIVED...I NEED AN INSECTICIDE THAT WILL ELIMINATE THEM FROM INSIDE MY HOME...I WOULD LIKE TO USE MY BACKYARD BUT ITS DISGUSTING WITH ALL THESE BUGS EVERYWHERE...HELP ME PLEASE...THANKS

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  54. Have had these in my gardens for several years and this site finally identified them for me. In my garden they eat Japanese anenomies or clematis. Haven't seen them eat anything else.
    I am located 50 km (30 miles) north of London, Ontario

    Ron Aitken

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  55. I just found 5 of these freaky looking bugs on the sidewalk today. Needless to say they are all dead now. But they just freaked me out. And I didn't want to two dogs to think they were a new "treat". I'm in Port Huron Michigan and have never seen these before.

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  56. I have seen these beetles occasionally over the years here in Auburn WA,but just single individuals. Today I caught one to identify because I thought it might be the culprit eating my rhodedendron bush under a fir tree. I do have japanese anenomy growing about 30ft away but have never seen any beetles over there. I am adding my reply because it apears nobody else from the pacific NW has chimed in about haveng them.

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  57. what is wrong with so many of you ? Are you all adults ? Scared of and ready to anihilate something that bothers you ? What a perfect presentation of what is certainly wrong with our species .

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  58. Thanks for posting this blog Shelly, I live in Androscoggin County in Maine and my son found one of these on our lawn. Now I know what it is, and to maybe expect more over the next few weeks as they enjoy their mating season.

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  59. we just moved into a new house and when we came home from shopping found NUMEROUS of these nasty little buggers in our front yard. we have 4 very small children and i was terrified to see what they were. it took me forever to find what they are. blech.

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  60. EW. I came home today. Oct. 5th, to find a bunch of these in my yard. I FREAKED OUT. I thought they might just be huge ants until I looked them up...They were out in my yard eating...grass. There were three of them piled ontop of each other...Hope they are enjoying my yard during their mating season...ick

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  61. NE Pennsylvania chiming in here. These beetles are all over my yard. Can't take a step without seeing 5 or 6 within a square foot. Saw them this past spring too. We had a very mild winter. Also have lots of ground bees like an earlier poster- they never cause a problem- active in the spring, lots of holes, then gone for the rest of the year. We have had cicada killers this summer- not happy about them. But these beetles are freaking me out. Can't enjoy the yard with the dog anymore.

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  62. Central/coastal NJ, and they're all over the lawn. Some apparently mating, others crawling toward our house and garage. Want to keep them OUT! We have also had ground bees over the past few years, and are trying to improve the soil conditions and eventually be rid of the bees, which perhaps will help us be rid if these icky critters? I mostly wonder we are seeing this only in the past few years, and never before?

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  63. We are located just above Toledo, OH and have had these bugs appear for years. We have bare patches in our yard due to having dogs. Little maintenance on our yard and a warmer winter might have increased the volume of these beetles. We've transported at least 50 to the woods behind us and do think they are destructive eating clover, grass and other weeds we have growing. Did have ground bees in new landscaping in front yard. Would like to get rid of these beetles but hate to use chemicals. No pets now, help!

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  64. This beetle seems to generate a lot of interest, most of it not good. I hate to see there is so much intolerance for a beetle that is basically harmless to humans. I cannot advise anyone on the best way to control (kill) these beetles simply because I am not qualified to answer that question. Many of you have expressed a desire to kill them, but wish to do so without chemicals. That is commendable, but most likely impossible. The bees do attract them, because they need the bees to complete their lifecycle. Without the bees, the beetles have no reason to continue to hang out in your yard. If you're seeing these beetles in large numbers and crawling around on plants I suspect you are most likely seeing a cousin of this beetle called the black blister beetle. They are similar to this beetle but smaller. They show up in large numbers, usually in the fall. They are harmless, but can be a nuisance. They will leave of their own accord once the weather falls below freezing for a short period of time. Please try to exercise some tolerance for all things in nature, even those things that might be distasteful to you. Each animal out there serves a purpose, even these beetles.

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    1. Thank you Shelly, the hate and fear that Madison Avenue and the pesticide death merchants have been able to instill in the typical American is sickening. Instead of being appreciated for the wonders of evolution that they are, most Americans want to reach for a can of poison first and an encyclopedia second. And all we wind up doing is poisoning ourselves.

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  65. In my yard, I have noticed that the adults are found in profusion on cool damp days in early spring or late fall and I've observed that they seem to eat a fine leafed grass found in my lawn. (patches of fescue?)

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  66. Scott Allison
    Just discovered two of these creatures outside my house today here in central Connecticut - never saw one in my life - I also thought it was an enormous queen ant. I am concerned as one was heading toward my garage and was afraid it might go under door and get into house - if clematis is what attracts them I am going to rip out my clematis - don't want this nasty critter around.

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  67. Went for a walk in a grassy field and must have seen about 50 of these Guys. We live in Toronto ON near the Humber river. I think I am going to go back and get one for my collection.

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  68. I agree with Shelly on this. I just found one of these the other day (SW PA) and brought it in to show my girls and to hopefully find out what it is. Well, a friend lead me in the right direction and I found it to be an oil beetle. I've been amazed reading about them! Nature never fails me that! I wanted to direct you all to visit and read this suberb website all the way to the end - particularly the last paragraph. If for no other reason than respect and tolerance of other species, then for the good of possibly saving many human lives! Also, there's a link to beautiful David Attenborough video clip on blister beetles.
    http://thesmallermajority.com/2012/10/08/life-saving-beetles/

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  69. Also, when I took it out to take pictures to post for ID help I thought it had died. It wasn't looking so good but I thought I saw it move a bit. But then when I got it out to take pictures, it played a very good opossum! I really thought it was dead. Low and behold after I put it back in the bug box it was running all around again! Turns out they are known to play dead when threatened!

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  70. Have lived in South Jersey all my life, over 50 years, and have never seen these beetles until this fall, when I've found about a dozen crawling in the grass over the past 2 weeks. Had no clue what they were until I researched and found this website, which is very informative. Glad to see I'm not the only one seeing them this year, the good thing is they don't seen to be harmful. Just not too thrilled to find so many of them and so close to the house.

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  71. Hello. I am Bettina from Yellow Springs, Ohio. We just found a female one of these oil beetles in our new house. Was quite a surprise. In all my years as a nature educator, I have never seen one of these or anything like it for that matter. Thanks very much for the info you have provided here. Also, thanks to Mandy for posting the link. I took a look at it and found it quite informative.

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    1. >This is an informative post review. I am so pleased to get this post article. I was looking forward to get such a post which is very helpful to us. A big thank for posting this article in this website. Keep it up.
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  72. Although they are quite ugly, I'd say these beeltes are rather good to have around.....especially if one doesn't like bees.

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  73. I found one in my apartment a few days ago in Auburn, Alabama.

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  74. Southern /coastal NJ. Saw one in the yard today and could not imagine what it was. When I found out what it was, i was surprised to hear people say they are not harmless! ! They cause blisters and swelling and explains the originally unexplainable reason why my dog ended up at the vet 2 weeks ago with a red and swollen paw. The best the vet could determine was a "bug bite or sting" they shaved down his paw and the poor thing's rightmost toe was huge and red and the pads enormously swollen also. I also now know what these little brown hive-like mounds are in my yard ... ground bees?

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  75. Found one, while out turkey hunting in Southern Ontario Canada. CREEPY

    MC

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  76. I'm in Maine. I had never seen one before. I have a barbeque grill outside in the yard and had forgotten to clean the drip pan. It had turkey burger grease in it. When I went to clean the pan a couple of days later, there were about 10-15 of these beetles dead in the bottom of the pan. Can't figure it out. They were probably attracted to the grease but I don't know why they were all dead in the pan.

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  77. I just found one in rural Chino Valley, AZ. My boys were looking at it. They touched its back and realized its large hind end is soft rather than hard. I'm thinking it was dying because it didn't move much and they were poking at it. They are definitely interesting. Thanks for the info.

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  78. found a dozed of them eating potato leaves and mating, glad I was cautious to touch them. Lots of goldenrod and ground bees here, so it all makes sense.
    -western Mass

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  79. Live in CT found about a dozen of these for the first time ever. Were by a small stream eating lobelia and in the veggie garden munching on green onion stalks. Yikes, don't like the looks of them, hope they leave with the colder weather !!!!

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  80. I live in Northeast PA and we are having a very warm fall this year - it is October 5 and it was in the 80's today. I came across these beetles, about 2 dozen, in my backyard today. First time I have ever seen one of these in this area. I watched them for some time and they eat blades of grass and hang out in the shade from my fence. I have no flowering trees or plants around, only grass, so I'm not sure what attracted them to my yard. I've never noticed bees in my area either.

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  81. I live in Rochester, NY and this is the first year I have noticed this insect. I found one in my yard with a very large abdomen and put it in a cup. Several hours later (I was trying to identify it on line), when I looked in the cup the abdomen was a normal size but there were lots of small green balls, some in chains. I don't know if these are eggs or exrement. My main reason for trying to identfy them was to determine if there were harmful or not. I was happy to read they are not, so will let my captive beetle return to the yard.

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  82. Springfield, MA there are a dozen or so on my lawn. Some mating. One appeared to be eating the grass. I picked up several using a big oak leaf. Oily spots left on the leaf. We also get ground bees in the spring/summer.

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  83. Thanks for the info. I found a ton of these in Allentown, NJ and was always curious about what they were. I though they were fragile because of all the orange/yellow ooze that would come out of them when i kicked one. Now I realize it wasn't their "blood" it was there defense mechanism.

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  84. I live in Eastern Virginia and have also seen these insects for the first time in my 65 years. Amazing!. I'm also glad I did not touch them. There were about 2 or 3 dozen in a grouping in my cousin's yard, Mathew Co. Va. Thank for all the good information.

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