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Blister Beetle

The name of this insect - Blister Beetle - says enough of what it can do to human skin if provoked.

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Image Credit: Jose E. of Quebec, Canada.
Full-sized image #1 of the Blister Beetle Thumbnail image #1 of the Blister Beetle

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Meloidae
Genus: Lytta
Species: aenea
Blister Beetles can secrete a chemical called cantharidin when they feel threatened. This chemical causes burns on both insect predators as well as human handlers. Contact can leave painful blisters that eventually heal on their own, but are meant to deter an animal from touching similar beetles in the future.

This species is black, and its red legs have black knee caps. Black and red coloring raises alarm when seen, as it is a popular combination in insects that can hurt. The smooth, satiny finish on its wing coverings may be tempting to pet, but it is best to let a Blister Beetle wander off. Adults can fly, but larvae cannot. Small beetle larvae are parasites of bees.©BeetleIdentification.org

The Blister Beetle is typically 0.3 inches to 0.5 inches (9mm to 15mm) in size and has the following descriptors / identifiers: black; brown;red; small; winged; flying; blistering.

Color Identification Guide

Various colors commonly associated with this beetle.


Beetle Anatomy

Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)

The map below showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the 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.
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
New Mexico
British Columbia

Similar Beetles

Similar beetles to the Blister Beetle that are associated with or commonly mistaken for...

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