The Margined Blister Beetle is as black as night, which showcases a thin white line that runs down the middle of the elytra.
Slender and somewhat plain, the Margined Blister Beetle is a matte black with a pale white line running down the center of the body. Flat mouth parts and a square-shaped head are connected to the abdomen and wings by a narrow neck. Antennae and long legs are black.
The Margined Blister Beetle can secrete a chemical called cantharidin when threatened or smashed. This secretion causes blisters to human skin and can injure an insect predator. This beetle feeds on plant tissue so contact with potential enemies is likely for those working in crop fields and backyard gardens. They are able to fly and sometimes land on arms or necks where they are swatted at or even crushed, releasing the blistering agent. Blisters may form immediately and continue to grow in size and redness throughout the day. Look for Margined Blister Beetles on the leaves and fruit of tomato, beet, eggplant, potato, and alfalfa plants. It can become a garden pest in large numbers when chances of encountering them increase. Handling individuals is best avoided.
Scientific Name: Epicauta funebris
Other Name(s): Ebony Blister Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 17mm (0.47in to 0.66in)
Colors: black, white, gray
Descriptors: line, center, middle, flying, secretion, burn
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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.