Act Now: Blue-bodied Inspiration! (Oil Beetle, Meloe sp.)

a large metallic beetle at rest on a dried twig and pine needle

An oil beetle (Meloe sp., Meloidae) takes a rest on the debris on an asphalt path.

Quick post: I have a lot of back up in my archives, including five year-old shots of the first and only other oil beetle (family Meloidae) I have photographed. I didn’t want this one to be neglected, and since I haven’t been great about posting daily the past few weeks, I did a quick and dirty (read: basically no post-processing) so I could share my finding of this magnificent creature. The beetle, which some say looks like an ant (which I can see), is pretty big, so I couldn’t really get the whole body comfortably in one shot; hence what we have here is actually a two image photo-stitch, courtesy of the Hugin, a neat open-source application. (Probably “powerful” in addition to neat; one day I’ll learn to properly use it. But I digress.)

I was so excited about finding this beauty wandering the path around the side of the house I ran inside to get my camera and quickly reset my dust-gathering macro rig. The beetle was still plugging along when I returned, and I got some shots. It was very inspiring to see it and a good reminder that there is wonder and special things right where I am. Anyway, not sure my feelings are adequately conveyed here by the words or the photo, but it’ll have to do for now. Hopefully I’ll get to doing a proper treatment on these before five years pass. Have a good weekend, everybody. (Black and white version, also not processed apart from the filter conversion, after the break.)

P.S. Oil beetle are members of family Meloidae, a.k.a. blister beetles, which you guessed it can cause blisters if handled. Bugguide.net says ingesting these beetles can be fatal, so indulge yours or your pet’s entomophagous curiosity elsewhere. The compound cantharidin is the culprit of these effects.

a large metallic beetle at rest on a dried twig and pine needle

An oil beetle (Meloe sp., Meloidae) takes a rest on the debris on an asphalt path. (black and white version)

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2 thoughts on “Act Now: Blue-bodied Inspiration! (Oil Beetle, Meloe sp.)

    1. Thanks, David! I like how the shots came out, most/many had a high contrast result that emphasized the blue. The shadows were heavy though. I was in such a rush (was just about to take the dog to the dog park, had to go before it got too late) that I didn’t realize entirely what I had been doing! I was more concerned about getting something in focus but it saw later looking at the images later that changing the flash position would have changed things up some.

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