oil beetle


  • WordNet 3.6
    • n oil beetle any of various beetles that exude an oily substance from the leg joints that deters enemies
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Oil beetle (Zoöl) any beetle of the genus Meloe and allied genera. When disturbed they emit from the joints of the legs a yellowish oily liquor. Some species possess vesicating properties, and are used instead of cantharides.
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In literature:

Flatten them with a rolling pin, or a meat beetle, and lay them in oiled butter.
"Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches" by Eliza Leslie
This mixture, made into sheets, forms the beetle wafers sold at the oil shops.
"Enquire Within Upon Everything" by Anonymous
Take a great beetle; cut off his head and his wings, boil him, put him in oil, and lay him out.
"Peeps at Many Lands: Ancient Egypt" by James Baikie
Such forms as beetles and wasps can be quickly killed by dropping them into coal oil or a strong soap suds.
"An Elementary Study of Insects" by Leonard Haseman
At this time an Oil beetle was seen prowling about the holes.
"Our Common Insects" by Alpheus Spring Packard
The Oil-beetles, therefore, lacking the instinct of the Sitares, are endowed with incomparably greater fecundity.
"The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles" by Jean Henri Fabre