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Megetra cancellata (Megetra cancellata)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Megetra cancellata, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 9/4/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Megetra cancellata  
Picture of Megetra-Cancellata-Blister-Beetle
Picture of Megetra-Cancellata-Blister-Beetle Picture of Megetra-Cancellata-Blister-BeetlePicture of Megetra-Cancellata-Blister-Beetle

The red and black coloring should serve as a warning against touching this caustic Blister Beetle.

As a member of the Blister Beetle family, Meloidae, this southwest species has the ability to give handlers great pain for their trouble. Megetra cancellata can secrete, or leak, a caustic chemical called cantharidin from its body when under threat that greatly irritates human skin as well as insect predators. The effects of contact result in painful blisters.

Megetra cancellata is native to the arid Southwest U.S. as well as Mexico. It is a soft-bodied beetle (don't touch them yourself to make sure ) that likely feeds on the nectar and juices of native plants in their range. Some members of this family parasitize the eggs of grasshoppers, but little research has been published regarding this particular species' diet and life cycle.

Picture of the Megetra cancellata
Picture of the Megetra cancellata

Megetra cancellata Information

Category: Beetle
Common Name: Megetra cancellata
Scientific Name: Megetra cancellata

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Coleoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Meloidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Megetra
       Arrow graphic Species: cancellata

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 10 mm to 15 mm (0.39 inches to 0.585 inches)
Identifying Colors: black, red
Additional Descriptors: flying, harmful, humpbacked, striped, blisters

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Arizona; New Mexico; Texas; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that 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. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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