Image Credit: Brenda L. taken at Hagerman NWR in TX
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.
Scientific Name: Epicauta pennsylvanica
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 18mm (0.27in to 0.70in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.