Master Blister Beetle

Subject: Good bug or bad bug
Location: Apache Junction AZ
March 29, 2016 5:33 pm
This insect was found in Apache Junction AZ.
What is it?
Signature: Wondering

Master Blister Beetle
Master Blister Beetle

Dear Wondering,
When it comes to bugs, the adjectives good and bad are quite relative, and this Master Blister Beetle is no exception.  Master Blister Beetles, according to BugGuide, appear in late winter in the states of the Southwest.  Like other members of the genus, Master Blister Beetles should be handled with caution or not at all because according to BugGuide:  “Pressing, rubbing, or squashing blister beetles may cause them to exude hemolymph which contains the blistering compound cantharidin. Ingestion of blister beetles can be fatal. Eating blister beetles with hay may kill livestock. Cantharidin is commercially known as Spanish Fly.”

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