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Any help with ID for this beetle?

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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 20:41   #1
Deborah1
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Any help with ID for this beetle?

Came across this today in the garden. Around 4cm long. Amazing metallic blue colour. Slow moving. I am in Brittany, North West France. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 23:50   #2
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One of the oil beetles, I think.
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Old Wednesday 17th April 2019, 18:33   #3
andyadcock
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Black Oil Beetle I believe Meloe proscarabaeus.
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Old Wednesday 17th April 2019, 20:05   #4
Deborah1
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Thanks both of you. I saw another one in the garden today. In a different location. Are they particularly unusual? I’ve been here 12 years and to see two on two days is unusual for me!
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Old Thursday 18th April 2019, 11:12   #5
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Some useful info here

https://www.buglife.org.uk/sites/def...le%20guide.pdf

If you get the chance take a look at the junction of the abdomen and thorax where there can be a “tooth” which helps with identification. If you have any other photos you may be able to see it on them.

Possibly this is a good year for them as I saw one here last week.

Fascinating life-cycle. ��
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 05:52   #6
Deborah1
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Thanks for the link. You’re right. The life-cycle is fascinating. I saw four more yesterday! I live very rurally and have put a fair amount of effort into planting to encourage bees/butterflies etc. Do you think it possible there is a correlation between increased bee populations and more numbers of beetles in my garden? Or, like you said, the beetles are just ‘having a good year’?
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 12:20   #7
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Great to hear someone trying to help insects - the situation is alarming and is likely to have far reaching consequences.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decl...ct_populations

75% loss of insects in 26 years in Germany should be headline news!

It may be that Oil Beetles are having a good year - I came across another Black Oil Beetle yesterday. Most bizarrely it was surrounded by a swarm of tiny midges??
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 19:30   #8
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Well, that’s even more interesting. Two more today, (in different locations). But yes, the first one I saw was surrounded by tiny flying midges - a bit like fruit flies? I thought it was odd, but didn’t mention it in my first post. I wonder what that means?
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 19:59   #9
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Scrolling down through this article there’s a link to a paper about midges hassling oil beetles

http://thewildepisode.com/2018/11/20...ker-from-hell/

Apparently they’re feeding on the secretion Cantharidin which is used medically for treating warts!!

Weird Nature or what?
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