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Violet Oil Beetle

Meloe violaceus


Violet oil beetles have a striking appearance despite their underlying black coloration, as light is refracted off their lustrous carapace to give them a purple, blue or green sheen. When they first emerge as adults, their abdomen is small and compact but, as they gorge themselves on lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) and soft grasses, their abdomen becomes distended and can extend some way beyond the tip of their wings. They can often be found sunning themselves on paths and females are sometimes seen digging burrows in patches of bare ground, in which they lay their eggs.


Found moving across a path near a muddy, ploughed field in intense sunlight


Apologies for a rather sub-par photo, I didn't want to get too near to it because it's a blister beetle.

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Jamie Grant
Spotted by
Jamie Grant

South Hams, England, United Kingdom

Spotted on Apr 16, 2019
Submitted on Apr 17, 2019

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