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Blister Beetle: L. aeneipennis (Lytta aeneipennis)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Blister Beetle: L. aeneipennis

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Image Credit: Jaye B. in CA
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It will take a visit to southwestern California to find this bold little Blister Beetle.

Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
At home in only a few counties in California, this species of Blister Beetle is less common among its kin. Like other beetles in the Meloidae family, it can secrete a chemical that can burn skin and generate blisters if threatened. The red-orange head and pronotum and black body offer familiar warning colors to people and predators alike. Look for them on flowers in fields, gardens, and on trails.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Burning icon
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Meloidae
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          Genus: Lytta
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            Species: aeneipennis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Lytta aeneipennis
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 12mm (0.19" to 0.47")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; red; orange
Descriptors: red head; red neck; burning; chemical; spray; painful; blister; flying; flower; firefly

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 12mm (0.5in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 8.5mm
Hi: 12mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Blister Beetle: L. aeneipennis may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Blister Beetle: L. aeneipennis. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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