Blister beetle

During a photowalk along Easy Road at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, I noticed a type of beetle I didn’t recognize so I stopped to shoot a few photos. I consulted the expert members of the BugGuide Facebook group for help in identifying the unknown beetle.

Turns out it’s a member of the Family Meloidae (Blister Beetles). Several BugGuide members identified the insect as a species of “oil beetle” from the Genus Meloe. As its common names suggest, if this insect is disturbed then it releases an oil that can cause skin blisters. It’s as if chiggers and ticks weren’t enough of a nuisance — now I need to watch out for blister beetles too!

Editor’s Note: Thanks to BugGuide Facebook group members Dana Perantie, Brett Marshall, Shaun Delph, and Alonso Abugattas for help in identifying the beetle.

Related Resource: Oil Beetles, a blog post by Alonso Abugattas, Natural Resources Manager for Arlington County Parks, Virginia USA.

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Blister beetle”

  1. New discoveries in 2017 (non-odonates) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 16 NOV 2017 | Occoquan Bay NWR | blister beetle (Meloe sp.) […]

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