Sunday, December 9, 2018

Yard Critter of the Week - American Oil Beetle

American Oil Beetle

A relatively large, flightless insect.

This one was on the deck, just outside the side door. And I was bringing in the christmas decorations from the garage. Not a good place for it to be.

So I tried to hurry it along and it went into this apparent defensive posture. Very scary!

And then it played dead. It was fine, as later I found it crawling about the door jam to our mudroom.

They are also known as "Blister Beetles" as they can exude the chemical cantharidin from their joints when threatened. This is the yellow-orange liquid which you can see on my hand and under the beetles neck in the "playing dead" image above. It can cause painful blisters, but curiously the chemical had no adverse effect on me. Although I did know to quickly clean it off.

🐝  🐛🦋🐞🐜🦗

You can find all of the Yard Critter posts listed here.

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