Join the Scottish oil beetle hunt in 2013! Black oil beetles, Violet oil beetles and very rare Short-necked oil beetles can all be found in Scotland from March through to early July. Find out how to identify them with the new Scottish oil beetle ID guide.
Oil beetles are incredible insects, with a fascinating lifecycle closely tied to the fates of solitary bees and flower-rich meadows.
Three species are known from Scotland including the Violet oil beetle (Meloe violaceus), the Black oil beetle (Meloe proscarabaeus) and the very rare Short-necked oil beetle (Meloe brevicollis) which is only known from three areas in the British Isles: south-west England, the east coast of Ireland and the Isle of Coll in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland!
Download the new Scottish oil beetle guide and find out how to identify all of the Scottish species and the UK’s other oil beetles: the Rugged oil beetle (Meloe rugosus) and the newly-redicovered Mediterranean oil beetle (Meloe mediterraneus)- both of these species could potentially be found in Scotland.
If you find an oil beetle please let us know by filling in the online recording form, and if possible send a close-up photograph of your oil beetle too.
Look out for oil beetles near areas of bare soil (often on paths), and particularly near flower-rich meadows and grasslands