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oil beetle

any of several blister beetles of the genus Meloe that exude an oily fluid from the joints of their legs when disturbed.
Origin of oil beetle
First recorded in 1650-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for oil beetle
Historical Examples
  • At this time an oil beetle was seen prowling about the holes.

    Our Common Insects Alpheus Spring Packard
  • Some of them provide me with the oil beetle and the Sitaris, rare finds at one time, today of no use to me.

    The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre
British Dictionary definitions for oil beetle

oil beetle

any of various beetles of the family Meloidae that exude an oily evil-smelling blood from their joints, which deters enemies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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