Black Blister Beetle (Epicauta pennsylvanica)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Black Blister Beetle, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 2/5/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Blister Beetles can look ordinary and unassuming, but under duress, they can leave quite a mark on insects and humans alike.
Black Blister Beetles are black and have a glistening sheen on their head, pronotum and wing coverings. A bit of yellow hidden on the abdomen is the only additional color on this species. They can secrete a chemical that causes irritation, redness and, over time, blister formation on human skin. It is a defense mechanism intended to protect them from predators and other threats. This chemical also renders them somewhat distasteful, further aiding in their survival. The Black Blister Beetle is widespread across the continent and can be found on flowering plants, especially goldenrods and asters.