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

oil beetle
my boss [runs a tree-trimming, spraying etc company] found a bug … i’ve attached a photo – not the best photo = i took it. do you think it is an “oil beetle”? we are located in stockton new jersey, but do tree work in new jersey and pennsylvania, so is it possible that oil beetles are in our area?
thanks for your help?

Hi Lynnie,
Yes, this is an Oil Beetle. They are also known as Short Winged Blister Beetles and are in the genus Meloe. They are found in your area. According to the Audubon Guide: “If disturbed, this beetle feigns death by falling on its side. Leg joints exude droplets of liquid that cause blisters.” We are hoping your photo shows this feigning death behavior and is not the result of extermination.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pictures of devils coach horses that are vegetarian? From wisconsin and question.
I would like to share these pictures with you. I think they are of devils coach horses, but I am not positive. I would like to know if I am mistaken on the identity. There seems to be a little discrepancy in the descriptions I have found online as to behavior and appearance. I am wondering if its a closely related, perhaps vegetarian species? The females are 1 1/4 inch long and thick bodied. Males are 3/4 inch and also thick bodied. They don’t seem to be able to move their tail ends upward since they are plump. There mandibles are small for the head size as the pictures show. They are also black with a blue green iridescence. They are calm and peaceful. And they are active in bright light. First of all, I found hundreds of these fascinating insects in a mowed field that was located in a wooded clearing out in farm country. It was mid afternoon when I found them on a warm, 80 degree, sunny, October day. I am in Wisconsin! I have lived out here, in the country, for 15 years and never before seen these creatures in our area. I brought about a dozen home to identify and observe them. They mate freely with each other, the males just go from female to female. They have been eating grass in large amounts and enjoy rye bread and adore fresh soft fruits. They ignore hard dry grains. They have a preference for the softest of plant foods.They ignore slugs. Moths that my son caught, a few squished, (he is 5 yrs old) didn’t arouse the insects interest. They have showed no desire to borrow in anything be it soil or leaf litter. They remain on top of their substrate and are most active at mid day. They don’t show any defense posture what so ever. In fact they seem quite content to munch and walk around no matter what activity is around them. In the wild, they didn’t show any defense posture when I collected them either. I would like to ask you if you could share information about these wonderfully beautiful creatures. I cant find info on their life cycle. They are mating, and I don’t know what they lay their eggs in nor the time line for hatch and etc…. I home school my daughter and this adventure with these creatures has lead us on lessons in insect discovery. The pictures show detail of the sexual difference in the antenna. I was surprised to note the difference. There is a nice view of the females back that showed the detail of texture. Also, the size difference between male and female is obvious. I liked the way the grass eating picture turned out. That (eating) seems to be their main activity, next to making droppings. Please feel free to use any pictures on your site if you choose.
My partner, Kevin Stone took the pictures of my wonderful, insect find. What is puzzling me at this point, is when and in what will they lay eggs? I also have not figured out if they are meant to live through the coming winter or will die after egg laying, and if being in a aquarium, indoors, will change their life cycle. Any info you can share would be very welcomed.
Thank you for your time,
Jackie Thedford

Hi Jackie,
Why are you home schooling. You should be teaching 30 children. Your letter is absolutely awesome. These are not Devil’s Coach Horses, but Oil Beetles, a type of Blister Beetle, Meloe angusticollis. The adults eat grasses as you know and are fond of the foliage from potatoes. Larvae are parasitic on wild bees, and unless there is a wild bee nest in your aquarium, you may not get eggs. Be careful in handling the beetles which can exude droplets from their leg joints that might cause blisters.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Steamboat Rock State Park WA red headed bugs
Can you tell me what these bugs are that my daughter and son-in-law saw on a shrub on top of 800′ Steamboat Rock that rises above Steamboat Rock State Park on Banks Lake in Eastern Washington State just south of Grand Coulee Dam?
Thank you,

Hi Genelle,
This photo of mating Blister Beetles looks like
Lytta magister. In checking BugGuide, we found that all the images of this insect were from Arizona. We are getting a second opinion.

Ed. Note:  September 9, 2018
We just posted a new submission for a Blister Beetle from Washington that resembles a Master Blister Beetle, and we believe that this documentation and the newly posted documentation are both Lytta vulnerata based on images posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown Ontario beetles
I’m hoping you can identify these beetles I encountered when I was doing some photography north of Algonquin Park in Ontario. I am equally interested in bugs as I am photography so I am always looking for opportunities to photograph them when I am out shooting.
Many thanks,
Janet Nelson

Lepturine Flower LonghornBlister Beetle

Hi Janet,
We checked with Eric Eaton and he couldn’t conclusively identify your beetles based on the photos, but he did give us Families. One is a Lepturine Flower Longhorn, the one on the daisy, and the other is a species of Blister Beetle.

Ed. Note: We just received this identification.
(08/09/2005) identifications
Hello – I was recently shown your site, and it is excellent. My specialization is longhorned beetles, and in cruising around I notice a number of incomplete or uncertain IDs for this family. I don’t know if you are interested in receiving this sort of input, but if you are, I offer the following additions to your identifications.
The lepturine cerambycid is Strangalepta abbreviata, a common eastern species which frequents a variety of flowers as an adult. The larvae typically breed in decaying wood. Keep up the good work. You are a valuable resource. Cheers Frank Hovore

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

it fly’s
from tucson arizona. there are very many of these insects outside my house. please tell me.

Hi Mikie,
We haven’t gotten a photo of one of these for years. Your little beauty is a member of the Blister Beetle Family known as Iron Cross Blister Beetle, Tegrodera latecincta.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

black-orange bug?
Hello: your web site is really cool. My son and I found a bug outside and we don’t know what it is. We live in Phoenix, Arizona. The bug is pretty big. Maybe 1 inch long. Black body with an orange head. We found it on a leaf on our Magnolia tree. Just like to know anything about it. Is it harmless? I haven’t seen one of these bugs after living in Arizona for 10 years. So I am curious as to what it is and if it is common around here.
Paul Avona

Hi Paul,
You have a photo of an Arizona Blister Beetle, Lytta magister. It is found in deserts in Arizona. Much of the life cycle is still unknown, but adults eat plant tissues of desert shrubs and larvae attacks grasshopper eggs in soil. Blister Beetles secrete a chemical cantharidin which causes blisters on human skin.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination