Monday, April 18, 2011

Oil Beetle, Nene Washes

I am not sure if I have seen an oil beetle in the UK before... This huge female either Black or Violet Oil Beetle (I'm not sure of the species, and would appreciate advice) was grazing on grass near March Farmers, Nene Washes on 17.4.11. Nearby, Will Bowell and I also found a male. Later, I will upload a little video, once I have removed the sound of Will making rude noises.
Oil beetles are very interesting creatures as I found out when visiting Bug Life Oil Beetle hunt The big flightless females feed on grass etc and get massive and lay eggs in a burrow. The eggs hatch as active little juveniles (triungulins), which climb up flowers waiting for solitary bees. When a bee arrives, the jump aboard, then get off at the bee's nest, where a stored feast of bee eggs, pollen and nectar awaits (after a quick change of form to a new type of beetle larva!). Next year, they will emerge as adults.
Bug Life are very interested in records of all oil beetles, so click here and join in. I have.

1 comment:

Tim James said...

Cracking shots and an informative post. Thanks – Tim