Overview

Comprehensive Description

Meloidae (Blister Beetles)
These beetles are medium to medium-large in size. They are fairly long, with rectangular wing-cases, and heads that are wider than the pronotum. They are black, brown, tan, or red, with variable patterns. When disturbed, Blister Beetles exude blood with an irritating chemical that can cause blisters. Adults are often serious pests that feed on foliage and flowers, as well as pollen and nectar. The larvae are usually beneficial, feeding underground on grasshopper egg cases and the immature specimens of other insects. A typical example is Epicauta pensylvanica (Black Blister Beetle), which sometimes appears in large numbers on goldenrod and other flowers.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:459Public Records:35
Specimens with Sequences:396Public Species:7
Specimens with Barcodes:339Public BINs:19
Species:59         
Species With Barcodes:41         
          
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Barcode data

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Meloidae

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Blister beetle

Blister beetles are beetles (Coleoptera) of the family Meloidae, so called for their defensive secretion of a blistering agent, cantharidin. There are approximately 7,500 known species worldwide. Many are conspicuous and some aposematically colored, announcing their toxicity to would-be predators.

Description[edit]

Cantharidin is a poisonous chemical that causes blistering of the skin. Cantharidin is used medically to remove warts[1] and is collected for this purpose from species of the genera Mylabris and Lytta, especially Lytta vesicatoria, better known as "Spanish fly".

Blister beetles are hypermetamorphic, going through several larval stages, the first of which is typically a mobile triungulin. The larvae are insectivorous, mainly attacking bees, though a few feed on grasshopper eggs; while sometimes considered parasitoids, it appears that in general, the meloid larva consumes the immature host along with its provisions, and can often survive on the provisions alone, thus they are not obligatory parasitoids but rather food parasites that are facultatively parasitoid, or simply predatory. The adults sometimes feed on flowers and leaves of plants of such diverse families like Amaranthaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae, and Solanaceae.

Toxicity[edit]

Cantharidin is the principal irritant in "Spanish fly," a folk medicine prepared from dried beetles in the Meloidae family.

The largest genus--Epicauta—contains many species that are toxic to horses. A few beetles consumed in a single feeding of alfalfa hay may be lethal.[2] In semi-arid areas of the western United States, modern harvesting techniques may contribute to cantharidin content in harvested forage. The practice of hay conditioning [see Conditioner (farming)]--crushing the stalks to promote drying—also crushes any beetles present and causes the release of cantharidin into the fodder. Blister beetles are attracted to alfalfa and weeds during bloom. Reducing weeds and timing harvests before and after bloom are sound management tactics. Using equipment without hay conditioners may reduce beetle mortality and allow them to escape before baling.[3]

Systematics[edit]

Subfamily Eleticinae[edit]

Tribe Derideini

Tribe Morphozonitini

Tribe Eleticini

Tribe Spasticini

Subfamily Meloinae[edit]

Cysteodemus armatus near Amboy Crater, Mojave Desert, California. Yellow color is flower pollen.

Tribe Cerocomini

Tribe Epicautini

Tribe Eupomphini

Blister beetles like this Lytta vesicatoria (Meloinae: Lyttini) can be safely handled, provided the animal is not startled, and allowed to move around freely. Otherwise, painful poisonings may occur.
Meloe violaceus (Meloinae: Meloini). Note drop of dark orange defensive fluid on thorax.

Tribe Lyttini

Tribe Meloini

Tribe Mylabrini

Yellow-and-black species of Mylabris, one of many known in South Africa as "CMR beetle"

Tribe Pyrotini

Genera incertae sedis

Subfamily Nemognathinae[edit]

Tribe Horiini

Tribe Nemognathini

Tribe Sitarini

Genera incertae sedis

Subfamily Tetraonycinae[edit]

Tribe Tetraonycini

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bhattacharjee, Pradip; Brodell, Robert T. (2003). "Cantharidin". In Robert T. Brodell and Sandra Marchese Johnson, eds. Warts: Diagnosis and Management—an Evidence-Based Approach. London: Martin Dunitz. pp. 151–160. ISBN 1-84184-240-0. 
  2. ^ University of Arizona VDL Blister Beetle Poisoning in Horses
  3. ^ University of Colorado Extension Blister Beetles in Forage Crops
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!