Subject: identify
Location: Georgia
November 14, 2012 1:14 am
Could you please tell me what this is, I thought it was a beetle. But, on closer exam no wings and its soft.
Signature: pselby

Oil Beetle secretes Cantharidin

Hi pselby,
This is an Oil Beetle, one of the Blister Beetles in the genus
Meloe.  Oil Beetles and other Blister Beetles are capable of secreting an oily substance from their joints that contains the compound Cantharidin which can cause blistering in human skin, so they should be handled with caution.  Your individual is secreting oil in a droplet from the middle leg on the right side of the photo.

Thank you so much for responding. I’m glad I didn’t touch it now.

Location: Georgia

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