The Blister Beetle

 

This just in from What's that Bug?: Every year in the spring, we get numerous inquiries about Blister Beetles, especially from the desert areas of the Southwest. When Blister Beetles appear, it is often in prodigious numbers, and then suddenly, they vanish. This is a Master Blister Beetle, Lytta magister. It is well represented on BugGuide. This is one of the largest of the Blister Beetles. The adults eat foliage, flowers, pollen and fruit, and according the BugGuide: “Larvae live in bee nests.” Some species of Blister Beetles feed on grasshopper eggs. The beetles in the family Meloidae are known as Blister Beetles because they secrete hemolymph (blood) from their joints when handled, and the hemolymph contains cantharidin which can cause blisters. A European relative is the infamous Spanish Fly.

I found this dude chewing on a plant in Death Valley last weekend. Big shout out to What's That Bug? for answering the obvious question.

What's That Bug? Official site

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~ by ravenjake on April 20, 2009.

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