Latin name: Meloe violaceus
Family: Oil beetle
The violet oil-beetle is an iridescent beetle of woodland edge habitats, glades and rides, upland moorlands and on flower-rich grasslands. The best time to spot them is in March and April when they emerge in woodland glades and gorge themselves on plants including lesser celandine.
As yet very little is known about this species in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with just one known historic record from a site in Wensleydale. However, in implementing the local biodiversity action plan for this species we plan to find out more.
The population of this species is declining in the UK. This is thought to be due to the loss of wildflower-rich, semi-natural grasslands on which this species depends on at certain times of its lifecycle. In 2007 it became a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species and in 2011 it was added to Nature in the Dales: 2020 Vision the second biodiversity action plan for the Yorkshire Dales National Park.