blister beetle


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blister beetle,

common name for certain soft-bodied, usually black or brown, mostly elongate and cylindrical beetles belonging to the family Meloidae. Blister beetles are common insects found feeding on the flowers and foliage of various plants. Occasionally some, e.g., potato beetlespotato beetle,
name for two beetles of the leaf beetle family and for two of the blister beetle family, all destructive to the potato plant and its relatives. Most notorious is the Colorado potato beetle, or potato bug (Leptinotarsa decemlineata
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, become serious defoliating pests of potatoes, tomatoes, beets, asters, and other crops and flowers. The larvae are predacious or parasitic, feeding on the eggs of grasshoppers and of bees. Blister beetles undergo hypermetamorphosis, a complex life cycle with several different larval forms. The first of the six larval stages, called a triungulin, is a minute, active, and long-legged form that seeks out the host's nest; the following stages are grublike. Adults emerge in midsummer. One group of blister beetles has body fluids that contain cantharadin, a substance that can cause the skin to blister, from which the family gets its name. The Spanish fly (Lytta vesicatoria), a bright green or bluish blister beetle, is a common S European species from which cantharides are extracted and commercially prepared by crushing the wing covers (elytra) of the adults. This quite poisonous chemical is used medicinally as a skin irritant (in plasters), a diuretic, and an aphrodisiac. The lethal dosage for man is about .03 grams. Another group of meloid beetles has no cantharadin and is sometimes called the oil beetles because of the oily substance they secrete as protection against predators. Blister and oil beetles may be brushed into pans of kerosene or killed with systemic poisons or contact insecticides. Blister beetles are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Meloidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
This finding of the larvae's lure puts the immature blister beetles among the few animals known to practice chemical mimicry for hunting, say Saul-Gershenz and her coauthor Jocelyn G.
Just pick the blister beetle off the plant and drop in the can.
Cantharidin is found in blister beetles, which feed on alfalfa and other crops that are in horse food.
Despite the title, which depending on personal tastes can be a plus or a minus for a commuter read, the book gives clear accounts of a wide range of research beyond sex: insect personalities, wasp facial recognition, fruit flies artificially bred for intelligence, slavemaking ants, hitchhiking blister beetles and much more.
He talked of blister beetles and antibiotics and insect sex attractants.