Found in Prince Edward Island, Canada
October 14, 2009
Hello! I was happy to find your site today! What a lot of wonderful and informative information!
Last summer on vacation, I snapped a nice photo of a most interesting flying insect. I still have no idea what it is. It was June and we were on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
There were many of these harmless and beautiful creatures flying among the lupines along the edge of the roads.
We enjoyed their magnificent beauty! I was so happy my not-so-great camera allowed me this beautiful shot of this fellow (or lady, as the case may be). They were about 2 inches long or so. Not tiny!
I would love to know what it is and what its habits are.
Thank you for all you’re doing!
Prince Edward Island, Canada.
This is a Blister Beetle, probably Lytta sayi. You can find other photos and information on BugGuide. Also, the entire family of Blister Beetles, Meloidae, includes members that are characterized by the following BugGuide description: “Pressing, rubbing, or squashing adult blister beetles may cause them to exude their hemolymph (‘blood’), which contains cantharidin. This compound causes blistering of the skin, thus the name blister beetle. Accidental or intentional ingestion of these insects can be fatal. There are documented incidents of horses dying after eating hay in which blister beetles were inadvertently baled with the forage. Watch that curious children do not attempt to put these beetles in their mouths. The external use of cantharidin, commercially known as ‘Spanish fly,’ the supposed aphrodisiac, is likewise discouraged.“