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Black and Red Blister Beetle


Bright red warns anyone wanting to touch this caustic little critter in the Southwest and Mexico to reconsider.


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Image Credit: Charles from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Full-sized image #1 of the Black and Red Blister Beetle Thumbnail image #1 of the Black and Red Blister Beetle
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Image Credit: Seth G. from AZ
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Image Credit: Saginaw, taken in Gallup, New Mexico.
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Image Credit: Saginaw, taken in Gallup, New Mexico.
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Image Credit: Saginaw, taken in Gallup, New Mexico.
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TAXONOMY:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Meloidae
Genus: Megetra
Species: cancellata
The swollen body of the Black and Red Blister Beetle seems almost too big for its wings. The black abdomen is large by the head and has thin red bands crossing it. The small, bumpy elytra, or wing coverings, look like shoulder caps on the bulging abdomen, and they are covered in textured red marks. The black head has red on the back of it.

It may be tempting to touch one, but this beetle secretes a chemical that causes blisters on contact. It is an effective way to keep insects, birds, and animals from wanting to eat it. It is common to see one walking across the chaparral and sandy lots, and it confines its range to the arid southwest U.S. and Mexico.

The Black and Red Blister Beetle is typically 0.3 inches to 0.5 inches (10mm to 15mm) in size and has the following descriptors / identifiers: black, red, flying, harmful, humpbacked, striped, blisters.

Color Identification Guide



Various colors commonly associated with this beetle.

Red
Black

Beetle Anatomy



Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)


The map below showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the Black and Red Blister Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species 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.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
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State of Delware graphic
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State of New Mexico graphic
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Arizona
New Mexico
Texas
Mexico

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