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

Subject:  Metalic Green Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central Colorado Foothills
Date: 07/19/2018
Time: 08:40 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
This awesome little beetle ended up flying into my face while I was our for a hike at one of our foothills parks.  I have never seen anything like this little guy before.  I am hoping you can shed some light for me.
How you want your letter signed:  With a pen… or pencil… it’s all good.

Nuttail’s Blister Beetle

Thanks to this BugGuide image, we are confident that this is Nuttail’s Blister Beetle, Lytta nuttalli, a species with much color variation.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed on legumes.”  You were lucky when you encountered this Nuttail’s Blister Beetle because physical contact with Blister Beetles should be avoided as they can secrete cantharidin, a compound known to cause blistering in human skin.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large bright red beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Limbe, Malawi
Date: 06/10/2018
Time: 06:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, my mother found this beetle a few days ago. I cannot find a similar one on the Internet. It was long with large mandibles and scarlet.:  Allnutty

Blister Beetle: Synhoria testacea

Dear Allnutty,
The first thing we have to say is WOW, that is one impressive beetle.  Interestingly, as we began our research, we found this very beetle pictured on the Travel Malawi Guide site, but alas there was no identification.  Though its appearance is not typical of the family, the antennae caused us to ponder if this might be a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae, and there is one North American species that has a similar large head and mandibles, the Big Eared Blister Beetle,
Cissites auriculata, which is pictured on BugGuide, so we started our more thorough search with the subfamily Nemognathinae.  That led us to the Researchgate and Meloidae of Namibia where Plate #6 pictures Synhoria testacea.  We verified that identification on iNaturalist where there are several wonderful images.  It is also pictured on What Species?

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Ellivott, Colorado
Date: 06/08/2018
Time: 08:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would like to know what these beetles are eating up my garden
How you want your letter signed:  Lisa Rascon

Spotted Blister Beetle

Dear Lisa,
We are quite confident that we have identified your Blister Beetle as a Spotted Blister Beetle,
Epicauta maculata, thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  The larvae of Spotted Blister Beetles feed on Grasshopper eggs, but adults are plant feeders as you have experienced.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Some find similar to d. coach horse/oil beetle(Staphylinidae)
Geographic location of the bug:  Granada, Spain
Date: 05/22/2018
Time: 10:09 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello Dr.
Found “she” on a basin in Sierra Nevada 20 days ago, had amazing size about 7cm long and due to the fact rove beetles are the biggest branch +64000 described and +800 just in GB its kind difficult to name it. May you help me to find out?
How you want your letter signed:  Dr Pachanga

Blister Beetle

Dear Dr. Pachanga,
This is not a Rove Beetle, but rather a Blister Beetle, and its red eyes are startling.  We wish your close-up had more clear details.  We believe we have correctly identified it as Berberomeloe insignis thanks to images by Peter Greenwood on FlickR here and again here on FlickR.

Blister Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Ant or wasp family?
Geographic location of the bug:  Ludlow, Vermont
Date: 12/16/2017
Time: 03:27 PM EDT
Curious as to what this is, having never seeing one before!
How you want your letter signed:  Gary Stevens

Oil Beetle

Dear Gary,
Though many folks mistake them for queen ants, this is actually an Oil Beetle in the genus
Meloe.  We will be postdating your submission to go live to our site at the end of the month when our editorial staff is away on holiday.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Central NJ (Edison)
Date: 11/26/2017
Time: 02:30 PM EDT
I saw this creature as I was taking a walk. It was fairly large in size – about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in size. I saw it just now right after Thanksgiving. I did a reverse image search. Google proclaimed it a stag beetle. Bing returned a lot of pages from Japan. The shapes and colors are correct, but the wings are too small. The two wings on this picture are tiny stubs. Beetles have full wings that cover the abdomen. Hornets have transparent wings.
How you want your letter signed:  David W.

Oil Beetle

Dear David,
Your claim that “Beetles have full wings that cover the abdomen” is true in most but not all cases.  This is an Oil Beetle, a species of Blister Beetle in the genus Meloe.  Oil Beetles are flightless.  There are other species of Blister Beetles with vestigial wings like this Spanish individual, and many species of Rove Beetles like the Devil’s Coach Horse also appear wingless, though their wings are described on BugGuide as “elytra short (about same length as pronotum, or only slightly longer; wings are functional in most), typically exposing 3-6 (usually 5-6) abdominal segments.”

Thank you for your reply. I was beginning to wonder if this was an invasive species.
I did an image search on Bing (Google said it was a stag beetle) and it pointed me to a bunch of Japanese pages (in Japanese, of course) with pictures of very similar looking bugs. One site (via Bing translate) identified it as a “miyamatsuchihanmjou” which wasn’t much help, but there was a note attached calling it a type of blister beetle and warning me not to touch it. (Not that I had any desire to do so).
I guess the Japanese maybe more attuned to nature, but seeing all of these Japanese pictures and none in America, I feared it was an invasive species.
I see that these live in my area of New Jersey and are mainly active in the spring.
Again, thank you for the quick ID.
David Weintraub

Hi again David,
North America also has Oil Beetles that are active in the fall.

Yes. I saw they’re active all year. By the way, this specimen was between 1 1/2 to 2 inches in length – much larger than the ones you have posing by the quarter. I was hoping to have a quarter or some object to put in the picture in order to judge its size, but didn’t have anything. I also resisted the urge to pick it up and move it somewhere with better contrast. I’m glad I did.
I found one species called a “short winged oil beetle”. This specimen was about the size of the one I saw and was also found in New Jersey during freezing weather. https://bugguide.net/node/view/37966
I see the larvae live in flowers, hitch a ride on a passing bee, and live in the hive eating honey, pollen, and bee larvae.
David Weintraub

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination