The Blister Beetles Insect oil beetle, meloe proscarabaeus, is common in Europe. Larvae creep into flowers, than hitch a ride on foraging bees back to their nest, where they feed on eggs, pollen, and nectar. Length up to 1.2 inches (3 cm).
- Common name: Blister beetles
- Family: meloidae
- Suborder: Polyphaga
- Order: Coleoptera
- Class/subphylum: Insecta/Hexapoda
- Number of species: About 3,000 (about 350 US)
- Size: From about 0.1 in (3 mm) to about 1.8 in (4.5 cm)
Key features: Colors mainly bright, although some species are pure black or brown; body often elongate, Blister Beetles Insect sometimes short and fat, head usually broad and connected to the thorax via a narrow “neck”; body often soft and leathery, hard in a few desert species, elytra sometimes short legs long and slender; antennae threadlike or beadlike
Habits: Adults found on flowers, leaves, or on ground on warm days; Blister Beetles Insect larvae of many species wait on flowers for a bee, then hitch a ride back to its nest where they will complete development; some larvae live underground
Breeding: Mating pairs frequently seen on flowers; some species have quite complex courtship procedures, such as the male striking the female with his front legs or tapping her rear end with his antennae and mouthparts; Blister Beetles Insect eggs laid in large batches in the ground
Diet: Adults mainly eat leaves and flowers and may harm cultivated crops; larvae live in bees’ and wasps’ nests eating the stored provisions or in the ground feeding on grasshopper eggs
Habitat: Forests, grasslands, gardens, and mountainsides; often common in deserts-most of the North American species are restricted
Distribution: worldwide, but most abundant in warm, dry regions such as deserts and the African savanna grasslands; rarer in dense forests.