There are five species of oil beetles in the UK, the Black oil beetle (Meloe proscarabaeus), the Violet oil beetle (Meloe violaceus), the Short-necked oil beetle (Meloe brevicollis), the Rugged oil beetle (Meloe rugosus) and the Mediterranean oil beetle (Meloe mediterraneus). The first three can be found in the spring and we need your help to monitor their distribution to aid our conservation work. Beetle Conservation: Oil beetles are incredible insects, but they are under threat. Three of Britain’s native oil beetles are thought to be extinct, and the remaining five species have suffered drastic declines due to the changes in the way our countryside is managed.
How to get involved
Please keep a look out for these beetles when walking in meadows, grasslands and open woodlands and let us know if you find them by submitting your sighting records and uploading your photos. Your records can make a real difference to our oil beetle conservation work. If you need help to identify the oil beetles you find, you can download the oil beetle identification guide.