Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Striped Blister Beetle - (Epicauta vittata)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 2/6/2014

The Striped Blister Beetle uses familiar warning colors to keep predators at bay. Insects and people who do not heed the warnings suffer for it.

Picture of Striped Blister Beetle

When threatened, this blister beetle secretes an acidic yellowish fluid onto its legs. Predators and people that come into contact with this fluid are burned by this substance and blisters form in the area of contact.

Their habitat includes gardens, parks and farm fields. Adults eat potatoes and other garden plants, making them a potential pest to backyard gardeners.

Larvae feed on buried grasshopper eggs and overwinter in the ground. This diet keeps crop-destroying grasshopper populations in check, making them beneficial insects to have around to farmers and backyard gardeners.

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Category: Beetle
Common name: Striped Blister Beetle
Scientific Name: Epicauta vittata

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Coleoptera
      Family: Meloidae
       Genus: Epicauta
        Species: vittata

Adult Size (Length): 9mm to 15mm (0.35in to 0.59in)

Identifying Colors: black; yellow; orange; red

Additional Descriptors: stripes, flying

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Mississippi; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Quebec

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.