Black Blister Beetle
 
Location: Calgary, AB
Date: July 30, 2004
               
      Photo 1

Common Name:  Black Blister Beetle

Latin Name:  Epicauta pennsylvanica (De Geer, 1775)
                        (R. Bercha, det.)

Length:  10 - 20 mm

Range: Throughout Alberta

Habitat:  Various

Time of year seen: Mid-summer (Additional Sightings)

Diet: Foliage and flowers

Other:  Blister Beetles get their name from the toxic cantharidin body fluid they leak from their leg joints when disturbed.  If this fluid comes in contact with skin it can cause blistering.  Black Blister Beetles are typically found in groups feeding on an assortment of plants including alfalfa, sunflower, sugarbeets, amaranthus, ester, nightshade, sage and yarrow.  Eggs are laid in the soil.  Upon hatching the larva seek out grasshopper egg pods consuming as many as 40 eggs, before over wintering in the soil to pupate and emerge the next spring.  There is one generation per year.  (Blodgett et al, 2010 & White, 1983)

 
         
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