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A short vid of a Female Violet Oil Beetle eating a Celandine flower

Learn more about the Oil beetle family at BUGLIFE.ORG.UK

It is a female Violet Oil Beetle in the video, she has a swollen abdomen as she has just emerged to find a male and is full of eggs. If you look carefully you'll see little flies on her body, they're feeding on the oil she exudes. When she's mated she digs a nest and lays her fertilised eggs, up to a thousand of them!

When those eggs hatch the larvae set about finding a solitary bee by climbing into a flower and waiting. When the bee arrives to feed on the flower the larvae hop on to it's back and get a lift to the bees nest. In the bees nest the larvae pupate and begin to feed on the bees eggs and food stores. Quickly growing and pupating again. They stay in the bees burrow until emerging in the spring the following year as adults like the female in the video.

An amazing life cycle!

hen xx

1 comment:

  1. Oh gosh. I took a photo of a Celandine a few days ago (it's on my latest post) and noticed, later on, that there was a tiny bug hiding in the middle. Thought it was a coincidence, but clearly it was in there for a reason. Very interesting. Thanks


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