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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
1650-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for oil-beetle
Historical Examples
  • Part of his motivation had been provided by the oil-beetle larvae.

    The Forgotten Planet Murray Leinster
  • It is with the help of this precious capture that I shall be able to finish the story of the oil-beetle's development.

  • 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 a protection, for it both smells and tastes so nasty that no bird will ever attempt to eat an oil-beetle.

  • It happily consumes those provisions and, in time, an oil-beetle crawls out of the tunnel a mining-bee so laboriously prepared.

    The Forgotten Planet Murray Leinster
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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