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Mysterious Happenings - Meloe campanicollis

Mysterious Happenings - Meloe campanicollis
Lothian, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, USA
April 29, 2007
Size: an inch?
Patuxent River microdesert habitat (xeric Maryland Coastal Plain), sandy soils. Larger insect moving at a pretty good clip and hard to photograph. Pictures have been edited-shadows decreased so that you can see the smaller black beetles (?) on the larger black insect. Otherwise they'd all seem even blacker than shown.

Images of this individual: tag all
Mysterious Happenings - Meloe campanicollis Mysterious Happenings - Meloe campanicollis

Meloe campanicollis --det. J.D. Pinto
Moved from Oil Beetles.

Added Image
Thanks everybody, you certainly have given me an interesting story to put in my field notes - and for Valentine's Day nonetheless. I have also posted the image under Pedilus terminalis, hopefully I did that correctly.

Pedilus terminalis (Say) on Meloe
Yes, this is a series of Pedilus terminalis (Say) males on a Meloe. The pyrochroids will chew on the integument of the blister beetle to ingest (and sequester) cantharidin.

Moved from ID Request.

Looks like
Meloe (Oil Beetles) covered by Pedilus terminalis ??

those little one are cantharidin junkies

sweet pic!
Nice demonstration of these habits!

are they licking it orare they eating (injuring it)it?

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