- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for oil beetle
Part of his motivation had been provided by the oil-beetle larvae.The Forgotten Planet
The English, because of its trick of discharging oily blood when on the defensive, call this insect the Oil-beetle.
Under ordinary conditions would the adult Oil-beetle have emerged from her cell at this period?
It is with the help of this precious capture that I shall be able to finish the story of the Oil-beetle's development.
It is a protection, for it both smells and tastes so nasty that no bird will ever attempt to eat an oil-beetle.The Animal World, A Book of Natural History
- any of various beetles of the family Meloidae that exude an oily evil-smelling blood from their joints, which deters enemies