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Beetle Oil Beetle

Oil Beetle - Photo  Copyright 2005 Reeko Beer Photo: Reeko Beer

UK Safari Tip:
A great way to see all the details on these insects and other small creatures is with a special magnifier box - click here

Latin name: Meloe proscarabeus

Size: Up to 30mms long

Distribution: Found in many parts of the UK.

Months seen: April to August

Food: Vegetation

Habitat: Meadows and fields

Special features: The female oil beetle (above) lays thousands of eggs into holes in the ground, and these hatch into larvae which sit around on flowers waiting to jump on board a passing bee. They then get a lift back to the bees nest where they feed on the bee larvae.

When alarmed, the adult oil beetles can release a foul smelling oil - hence the name.

Track Down More Info

UK Safari Beetle Section
UK Safari Creepy-Crawlies Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved