Currently viewing the category: "Blister Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Yellow black spots red head
Location: Phoenix Arizona
April 15, 2017 10:20 pm
I found this in the parking lot in Phoenix Arizona in April 2017. I moved it to the flower bed.
Signature: Alan

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Dear Alan,
We actually identified your Iron Cross Blister Beetle from just your subject line, though it did help that it was fresh on our mind since just yesterday we posted the first image of an Iron Cross Blister Beetle of the season, also from Phoenix, that had been preyed upon by an unknown predator.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: I’m not sure which blister beetle this is
Location: Culebron Spain
April 15, 2017 9:18 am
Would you mind identifying this insect please, I found it in Culebron in Spain. Thank you
Signature: Lorna

Blister Beetle or Not???

Dear Lorna,
We have not had any luck in our first attempt to identify this unusual beetle.  While the head and body structure do resemble those of a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae, the antennae seem  to belong to a member of a different family, Cerambycidae.  We are seeking other opinions.

Blister Beetle or other family?

Thank you so much Daniel for replying to me, I’m getting quite excited now that it seems unfamilar to you, I don’t know much about insects but I couldn’t find it anywhere on the Internet and now I’m getting really interested in learning more about the wonderful strange things. Maybe it will be named after me ‘beetle Lorna’ I’m sure not but it’s a nice idea!!!

Eric Eaton Provides a Non-Conclusive Response
I have no idea.  I’m not even sure if it is fully formed.  Looks like it just molted into an adult, which means it could be almost anything.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Thanks Eric,
That makes sense about it being “intermetamorphal.”

Thank you Daniel! Nobody here in Spain knows what it is either.
Lorna Gardner

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unidentified insect
Location: Phoenix, AZ
April 14, 2017 3:36 pm
Hi Bugman,
I was in Phoenix, AZ last week (first week of April) and found what was left of an insect in the grass. I think a bird ate the abdomen of this insect? Maybe the wing spread was 2″? I tried to identify it by looking at pictures on line, but I have struck out thus far. Can you help me identify this interesting looking insect?
Thank you,
Signature: Dawna

What Ate the Iron Cross Blister Beetle???

Dear Dawna,
We always love receiving and featuring our first Iron Cross Blister Beetle from the genus
Tegrodera each spring, and this year that distinction goes to your submission, however we generally are thrilled to receive a living example.  We are quite curious what ate the fatty abdomen on your individual and left behind the harder elytra, legs and front of the body.  We often receive images of Prionids and Cicadas that have been eaten in a similar manner, and we suspect birds are the predators in question.  The curious thing about your Blister Beetle is that it is a member of a family that is known for the ability to secrete the compound cantharidin that causes blistering in human skin and that could make horses quite ill if they ingest Blister Beetles while eating hay.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Yellow & Black Beetle
Location: India
April 12, 2017 2:11 am
Can you please help me identify the bug below – shot in India?
Many thanks
Signature: John F

Blister Beetle

Dear John,
This is a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae.  Though the markings are not exactly the same, it might be a color variation or a different species in the same genus as this unidentified Blister Beetle on India BioDiversity.  We believe it is in the genus
Mylabris based on images we have located online, including on Bold Systems Taxonomy.  Blister Beetles should be handled with extreme caution as they secrete a compound known as cantharidin that is known to cause blistering in human skin.

Hi Daniel
Thanks so much…I almost labelled it as a blister beetle…but as you say the markings are somewhat different.
Must also be a cousin of the Cantharides Beetle we used to get in Africa – which caused extreme blistering!
Thanks again and for such a quick reponse.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mylabris (blister) beetle in Kenya
Location: near Malwea River, Rift Valley, Kenya
March 13, 2017 2:22 am
Dear Bugman
Attached, some photos of a blister beetle found near the Malewa River in the Rift Valley of Kenya. Can you identify the species?
Many thanks!
Signature: Rob

Blister Beetle

Dear Rob,
According to iSpot, the genus
Mylabris is now classified as Hycleus.  We do have several images on our site from Kenya that we identified as Mylabris (now Hycleus) oculata, and though they are similar to your individual, they do appear to be a different species.  We have not had any luck with a species identification for you, but perhaps one of our readers will provide a comment with a clue.

Blister Beetle

Dear Daniel
Thank you for your help.
Best regards

Blister Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Darkling beetle?
Location: Silver spring, MD
March 8, 2017 8:01 pm
We found this one ob March 1st, a weirdly warm winter day here in MD and the closest thing to resemble it in our guide was a Darkling beetle. Is that what it was? It was very sluggish, we thought it was dead at first. My 6 year old wanted to pick it up but I didn’t know if it was safe. I kinda wish I had let her, just to get a more contrasting background.
Signature: Divya

Oil Beetle

Dear Divya,
This is not a Darkling Beetle.  It is a Blister Beetle, a member of a family that gets its common name because family members are able to secrete a compound, cantharidin, that is known to cause blistering in human skin.  The infamous aphrodesiac known as Spanish Fly is actually made of the ground bodies of a Spanish Blister Beetle.  Your individual is an Oil Beetle in the genus
Meloe and we believe it is a male because the fifth segment of the antennae appear to be modified for sexual interaction with the female.  Oil Beetles are found in many parts of the world.

Phew – I’m glad I didn’t let her pick it up! Thanks so much for letting us know; she loves bugs but is also sensitive enough that if any of them ever hurt her, she may fear them all. It is really odd that a chemical that can cause blistering could also be an aphrodisiac – maybe blistering your inhibitions? I loved the different textures of black color on this little bug.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination