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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bug identification... queen ant?


Betty wrote at 2010-03-15 20:08:35
I Googled "oil beetle" and that seemed to pull up the most images that look like this bug. I too at first thought it was a queen ant.

Hope that helps.

Christian wrote at 2010-05-13 19:12:23
Actually, its not a Rove beetle, but an Oil Beetle, Meloe impressus.  They are actually more related to Blister Beetles than Rove beetles, since their rears are big (like a blister).  the ant-shaped head and similar body traits to the rove beetle tend to throw people off.  Even the bug guide has mis-identified it in this section.  

Here it is in the proper spot-

Reex wrote at 2011-08-04 22:22:37
I live in northern New Mexico and also encountered one of these insects recently. I do not believe it is a beetle as the abdomen is much larger than the wing structure, so much so as to render the wings useless. Also, the abdomen is composed of a much softer tissue than the rest of the exoskeleton, almost like flesh, which discredits the claim of it being a beetle because a beetle's second set of wings is rigid and are used to protect the flexible first set. The head, antennae, mandibles, thorax and tarsals also are identical to a common black ant except that they are much larger. The abdomen resembles an ant's although it is much larger. Another interesting thing I noted is that I could not locate either a functioning compound or simple eye. The area of the head where the compound eye is usually located is shaped like a compound eye but is smooth and composed of the same type of tissue as the rest of the head. I am not sure of the identity of this insect but suspect it is some type of ant morphology.  

bug lady wrote at 2011-10-13 16:16:23
This is actually an American Oil Beetle.  See link for more details.

MadManApothecary wrote at 2011-11-28 18:53:54
It's an oil beetle, they are in the same genus as blister beetles and can blister your skin causing swelling and pain.  Read about the hemolymph, its crazy blue-green blood.

Paul wrote at 2012-03-25 18:42:57

I found one of this same bug and thought it to be a queen ant as well.  When I found this page I looked into the rove beetles.  Although the rove beetle is a close match it certainly isn't the bug I found nor the one in your picture. My own research suggests that it's an oil beetle (Meloe Impressus, male).

litfa joana wrote at 2012-04-01 21:53:52
me and my friend were on a hike and we found a bug just like yours only ours has a florescent butt and we did some research and found out it is a blister beetle we worn you not to touch it or let a animal eat it or else the animal will die and the human will break out in blisters if you have touched it see a doctor as soon as possible  

CAANDY wrote at 2013-10-20 23:59:38
I know this is terribly old. But  I think that may be a violet oil beetle, a type of blister beetle. :)

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann


General insect questions, household pest questions, insect identifications (can be difficult in photos but it's what I do).


Senior Extension Associate for Cornell University's NY State Integrated Pest Management Program for 10 years, technical advisor to the New York State Pest Management Assoc. PhD in entomology, Cornell 1999.

Entomological Society of America New York State Pest Management Association Northeast IPM Center - Community IPM Working Group NYC Bed Bug Advisory Board

American Entomologist Pest Control Technology Pest Management Magazine online at Journal of Economic Entomology

PhD Entomology - Cornell University 1999 BA Biology - New York University 1992

Awards and Honors
"Partners in Health Award" Nassau County Department of Health 2009 Award of Recognition from the New York State Pest Mgmt Assoc, 2007.

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I work for the State of NY, statutory college. I have no clients, as a private consultant would.

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