Subject: Beetles skeletonizing my hostas
Location: St. Louis, MO
July 14, 2012 5:15 pm
Hi bugman! My hostas are being skeletonized by what looks to me like a blue firefly (lightning bug, for keyword searching).
At first I thought slugs but the hostas are *covered* in these bugs and they also appear to be dropping some eggs or something on the leaves as well.
Any help would be appreciated!
Signature: baffled by beetles
Dear baffled by beetles,
You are not as baffled as your signature indicates because you did deduce that this is a beetle. More specifically, it is a Margined Blister Beetle, Epicauta funebris, which you can verify on BugGuide. What you believe to be “eggs or something” are the droppings of the beetles which as your letter indicates are voracious eaters. You should exercise caution with Blister Beetles. Though they do not bite nor sting, they do release a compound known as cantharidin from their joints that can cause blistering in human skin.
Thanks! I didn’t expect a reply so soon. I did look at quite a few
photographs and figured it had to be a beetle based on those but just
couldn’t find the right category to browse. I appreciate the very
~baffled by beetles