Pictures of devils coach horses that are vegetarian? From wisconsin and question.
I would like to share these pictures with you. I think they are of devils coach horses, but I am not positive. I would like to know if I am mistaken on the identity. There seems to be a little discrepancy in the descriptions I have found online as to behavior and appearance. I am wondering if its a closely related, perhaps vegetarian species? The females are 1 1/4 inch long and thick bodied. Males are 3/4 inch and also thick bodied. They don’t seem to be able to move their tail ends upward since they are plump. There mandibles are small for the head size as the pictures show. They are also black with a blue green iridescence. They are calm and peaceful. And they are active in bright light. First of all, I found hundreds of these fascinating insects in a mowed field that was located in a wooded clearing out in farm country. It was mid afternoon when I found them on a warm, 80 degree, sunny, October day. I am in Wisconsin! I have lived out here, in the country, for 15 years and never before seen these creatures in our area. I brought about a dozen home to identify and observe them. They mate freely with each other, the males just go from female to female. They have been eating grass in large amounts and enjoy rye bread and adore fresh soft fruits. They ignore hard dry grains. They have a preference for the softest of plant foods.They ignore slugs. Moths that my son caught, a few squished, (he is 5 yrs old) didn’t arouse the insects interest. They have showed no desire to borrow in anything be it soil or leaf litter. They remain on top of their substrate and are most active at mid day. They don’t show any defense posture what so ever. In fact they seem quite content to munch and walk around no matter what activity is around them. In the wild, they didn’t show any defense posture when I collected them either. I would like to ask you if you could share information about these wonderfully beautiful creatures. I cant find info on their life cycle. They are mating, and I don’t know what they lay their eggs in nor the time line for hatch and etc…. I home school my daughter and this adventure with these creatures has lead us on lessons in insect discovery. The pictures show detail of the sexual difference in the antenna. I was surprised to note the difference. There is a nice view of the females back that showed the detail of texture. Also, the size difference between male and female is obvious. I liked the way the grass eating picture turned out. That (eating) seems to be their main activity, next to making droppings. Please feel free to use any pictures on your site if you choose.
My partner, Kevin Stone took the pictures of my wonderful, insect find. What is puzzling me at this point, is when and in what will they lay eggs? I also have not figured out if they are meant to live through the coming winter or will die after egg laying, and if being in a aquarium, indoors, will change their life cycle. Any info you can share would be very welcomed.
Thank you for your time,
Jackie Thedford

Hi Jackie,
Why are you home schooling. You should be teaching 30 children. Your letter is absolutely awesome. These are not Devil’s Coach Horses, but Oil Beetles, a type of Blister Beetle, Meloe angusticollis. The adults eat grasses as you know and are fond of the foliage from potatoes. Larvae are parasitic on wild bees, and unless there is a wild bee nest in your aquarium, you may not get eggs. Be careful in handling the beetles which can exude droplets from their leg joints that might cause blisters.

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