Note: Please understand that that insects do not adhere to man-drawn borders on a map as such they may be found beyond the general "reach" as showcased on our website. Consequently, alfalfa grown near rangeland has a greater likelihood of blister beetle infestation. Blister beetles in fields at harvest (swarming species) is a concern to producers. Injuries are usually minor and easily outgrown on establi… Black blister beetle, E. pennsylvanica, and spotted blister beetle, E. maculataare more widespread. Symptoms include blisters on the tongue and in the mouth, colic, diarrhea, blood or intestinal lining discharge in stools, and problems with urination or bloody discharge in urine. Cantharidin is an odorless, colorless fatty substance of the terpenoid class, which is secreted by many species of blister beetles. Apply to CSU | The striped blister beetle has about five times more poison than the black variety. 4.8 mg per beetle) levels of cantharidin. Blister beetles are pests as adults and beneficial insects as larvae (grubs). However, the black blister beetle is a species that produces very low levels cantharidin. Kinney, F.B. Final pupation occurs after an increase in temperature and moisture in the spring, from which adults emerge, usually in … Most of those in Wyoming are the black blister beetle. Also, Kansas State University recommends against the use of insecticides because blister beetles often leave the field after a short time and a chemical treatment would prevent them (and therefore the cantharidin) from leaving. In Colorado, E. murina and E. fabricii often are most abundant in June, while other Epicauta species are more abundant in July and August. Control weeds and harvest alfalfa before flowering. Its abdomen is so heavy that it leaves a furrow in the sand when it walks around, and as a blister beetle, it tastes ugly to predators. The beetle Megetra cancellata is commonly known as the black and red blister beetle. Blister beetles are associated with grasshoppers; the larva stage of the blister beetle feeds on grasshopper eggs. First instar larvae seek out subterranean grasshopper egg pods (genus Epicauta) and bee eggs (genus Meloe) to complete the immature stages of development. Three-striped blister beetles, spotted blister beetles and black blister beetles (left to right) can be found in alfalfa fields. Learn more about us or about our partners. The most important species in this regard is the threestriped blister beetle, Epicauta occidentalis Werner (formerly E. lemniscata). The chemical substance from the blister beetle can bring certain reaction to your skin. Lytta magister (also known as the desert blister beetle or master blister beetle) is a species of blister beetle found in southwestern North America.. High Plains Integrated Pest Management Guide, CSU Horticulture Agents and Specialists Blog, Capric Acid: A Promising Next-Generation Herbicide for Organic Specialty Crop Production, Columnar and Fastigiate Trees for CO Landscapes, Management-intensive Grazing (MiG) on Irrigated Pasture, Pulse Crops and their Key Role as Staple Foods in Healthful Eating Patterns, Integrated Hive Management for Colorado Beekeepers, Management-intensive Grazing (MiG) and Soil Health. Consequently, reducing weedy host plants and harvesting prior to bloom are sound management tactics. The Criticism of products or equipment not listed is neither implied nor intended. The three-striped blister beetle is a species that is present early in the season, sometimes massing and contaminating the first cutting of alfalfa. It has very high levels of cantharidin in its blood and periodically masses in blooming alfalfa fields. You have a chance around Phoenix, Arizona to see one of the biggest and fanciest blister beetles anywhere. Knowing where your hay is coming from along with close inspection of the hay this time of year in areas that harbor this insect are two ways to … Physical contact should be avoided. The highest reported cantharidin content—of the striped blister beetle—is 5.4% of the beetle’s dry weight. Adults lay eggs in the soil. There are no hidden valleys in Wyoming or Colorado that has NO blister beetles. Source: Colorado State University Extension. Blister Beetles Epicauta sp. This is a small Epicauta species, gray in color with small black dots, especially on the wing covers (elytra). [/caption] Tenebrionoidea Epicauta sp. The beetle Megetra cancellata is commonly known as the black and red blister beetle. Colorado Blister Beetles. Weed-free alfalfa, if harvested before bloom, will be less likely to attract beetles into the hay field. Flea beetles are small beetles that jump when disturbed. 2. Several other species may also be present in alfalfa, including E. fabricii (Figure 2), E. murina, E. sericans, E. immaculata, Meloe laevis and M. niger. However, the black blister beetle is a species that produces very low levels cantharidin. These fluids contain cantharidin, a potent blistering agent that is present in varying amounts in most blister beetle species. The ash-gray blister beetle is about 1/2 inch long and is completely gray. The blister beetle congregates in swarms to feed on alfalfa fields during mating, which is normally in mid- to late summer. Webmaster | State rules and regulations and special pesticide use allowances may vary from state to state: contact your State Department of Agriculture for the rules, regulations and allowances applicable in your state and locality. Dear Aethryix, The appearance of large numbers of Master Blister Beetles, Lytta magister, is a common occurrence in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of the arid southwest each spring, and we hope you enjoyed the sighting. In Colorado, S. schevyrewi appears to compete successfully with the more familiar smaller European elm bark beetle, Scolytus multistriatus. After emergence, adult blister beetles are strongly attracted to alfalfa and other blooming hosts. Illustration from Colorado State University Extension. Flea beetle injury is most important when seedlings are becoming established or in the production of leafy vegetables. Our physical location is 1311 College Ave, Fort Collins, CO. Having website issues? Adult blister beetles in the large genus Epicauta eat leaves but their larvae eat grasshopper eggs. Blister beetles belong to a group of insects with a very interesting and sordid past with people. Immature stages feed on grasshopper eggs, live in solitary bee hives or are predaceous, depending on species. Many are conspicuous and some are aposematically colored, announcing their toxicity to would-be predators. It is difficult to predict the number of blister beetles that will cause the death of an animal, because the cantharidin content of blister beetle species varies (Table 1). Blister beetles are attracted to flowering weeds or blooming alfalfa. The larvae are parasites to solitary bees like the Augochlora Sweat Bee. This family includes over 300 species in the United States and more than 2,500 worldwide. Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. All are thought to similarly develop as predators of grasshopper eggs but most, unlike the clematis blister beetle, feed on pollen or less commonly leaves and flowers of plants, particularly legumes. However, most flea beetles attack only a few, closely related plant species. Figure 4: Larva of a western black flea beetle. E. immaculata (Say), which was sporadically abundant in southeast Colorado, had high (ca. They damage plants by chewing small “shotholes” in the foliage. This technique has been used successfully in Kansas and other midwestern alfalfa-growing regions. Insecticide for blister beetle control in alfalfa are available. Dear Aethryix, The appearance of large numbers of Master Blister Beetles, Lytta magister, is a common occurrence in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of the arid southwest each spring, and we hope you enjoyed the sighting. Lytta magister (also known as the desert blister beetle or master blister beetle) is a species of blister beetle found in southwestern North America.. Employment | Several other species may also be present in alfalfa, including E. fabricii (Figure 2), E. murina, E. sericans, E. immaculata, Meloe laevis and M. niger. Blister beetles (Meloidae family) get their common name from the production in their blood of a highly toxic compound, cantharidin, which is irritating and even capable of producing blisters in high enough concentration. Figure 5: Surface wounding of potato caused by feeding injuries of the tuber flea beetle. Epicauta aspersa Werner is another gray blister beetle that may be present at flowers in mixed populations with the black blister beetle in later summer and early fall. 0.7 mg per beetle) levels of cantharidin, respectively. 1 K.K. Compiled by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University: Scientific Name: Epicauta pensylvanica (DeGeer), Order: Coleoptera (Beetles) Spanishfly or cantharis, a preparation of dried meloid beetles, was thought to cure gout, carbuncles, rheumatism and many other medical disorders, in addition to its use as an aphrodisiac. Adults, however, can be observed on vegetation. Because the larvae of many blister beetles in the genus Epicauta prey exclusively on grasshopper egg pods, these blister beetles are frequently associated with grasshopper outbreaks. Burying Beetle: Colorado Insects of Interest Fact Sheet (pdf) Photograph courtesy of Joseph Berger. Most of those in Wyoming are the black blister beetle. Blister beetles produce cantharidin, a highly toxic chemical that irritates the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts and may lead to death, especially in horses. Infestations often occur during or just following a grasshopper outbreak. Adult beetles are soft bodied with short wings. Moreover, male blister beetles have a higher concentration of cantharidin than females. Look out when you are in southeastern Colorado. CSU A-Z Search Figure 1: Blister beetles commonly found in Colorado alfalfa fields. Damage: The larvae of the blister beetles destroys grasshopper egg pods. Related Species: The black blister beetle is one of about 35 species of blister beetles in the genus Epicauta that occur in Colorado. Irregardlessly! Colorado Insects of Interest Fact Sheet (pdf) Photograph courtesy of Joseph Berger: Checkered Melon Beetle First-cutting hay and later cuttings of hay (fourth or after the first frost) often escape contamination because they are produced before and after peak periods of beetle activity. The presence of such swarms in alfalfa at harvest is of concern to producers and horse owners because of the large amounts of cantharidin contained in these congregations. Please use our website feedback form. Blister beetle species feed on flowers and foliage of a wide variety of crops including alfalfa, ornamental plants, potatoes, soybeans, garden vegetables and other plants. Behavior, Diet & Habits Cantharidin. However, since blister beetles may move into the crop at any time, the residual activity of the insecticide may not be sufficient to control blister beetles up to harvest. Most species of blister beetles have one generation per year. Disclaimer | In addition, their extended pronotum gives them the appearance of having a long neck (Figure 1). Any beetle images and site inquiries can be submitted to beetleidentification at gmail.com. Blister Beetle Bites Identification of Blister Beetle Warts. Colorado Blister Beetles. For centuries, cantharidin was prescribed as a cure for a variety of ailments. Larvae jump onto a passing bee, stowaway to the bee's lair, and then feed on bee eggs and bee larvae inside. The blister beetle adult is distinguished by the long cylindrical soft body, with the tip of the abdomen extending beyond the end of the wing covers (elytra), ... (formerly at Colorado State University) investigated the dosage of the toxin, cantharidin (contained in blister beetles), needed to kill horses of different sizes. The common name for blister beetles comes from the irritating reaction the beetle’s body fluids cause on animal skin or delicate membranes. Blister beetles have some notoriety in the state because of the potential for them to hurt livestock, particularly horses, when accidentally baled into hay and fed. Distribution in Colorado: Statewide and common. Several species of blister beetles are found in the U.S. Their appearance varies, but most are about 1 to 2.5 cm in length. The larvae are insectivorous, mainly attacking bees, though a few feed on grasshopper eggs. Meloid Poison The bright and striking color combinations of many Meloid species are probably a warning to predators: Blister … The information herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and that listing of commercial products, necessary to this guide, implies no endorsement by the authors or the Extension Services of Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming or Montana. The spotted blister beetle, Epicauta maculata, is similar in size and is black in color, covered with small white-colored hairs, except where the … Blister Beetle Bite – Blister beetle is a kind of insect that belongs to the Meloidae family.This insect is known for its Cantharidin secretion, which is normally a chemical produced by male bugs. Blister beetles produce cantharidin, which is toxic to people and animals. - posted in Machinery: Any place with both grasshoppers and flowering plants WILL have some form of blister beetle. This species goes by the scientific name of Lytta magister but has also been called the “master blister beetle,” most likely in honor of its large size. The Adult beetles are phytophagous, feeding especially on plants in the families Amaranthaceae, Asteraceae, Leguminosae, and Solanaceae. A Black Blister Beetle can secrete a liquid from its body that causes pain and blistering on skin. The Blister beetle complete metamorphosis life cycle is unusual, complex and contains several immature forms. Typically 16 to 33 mm (0.6 to 1.3 in) in length, L. magister has a striking red head, legs and prothorax, with black elytra.They can be found in great numbers in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts in spring, and are often seen in swarms. The blister beetle’s anatomy has some unique features. Weed-free alfalfa, if harvested before bloom, will be less likely to attract beetles into the hay field. Control weeds and harvest alfalfa before flowering. Blister beetles that exhibit swarming behavior are of greatest co… The larvae prey on subterranean grasshopper and bee eggs. Being a member of the beetle family Meloidae, the menacing-looking beetle can cause skin blistering if you touch it. Blister beetles are associated with grasshoppers; the larva stage of the blister beetle feeds on grasshopper eggs. The three-striped blister beetle, Epicauta vittata, is approximately 5/8 inch in length with either two or three stripes down each of the elytra. 0.2 mg per beetle) and moderate (ca. Blister beetles are beetles of the family Meloidae, so called for their defensive secretion of a blistering agent, cantharidin. Blister beetles are hypermetamorphic, going through several larval stages, the first of which is typically a mobile triungulin. Larvae undergo several changes before overwintering as pseudopupae. Blister beetle dermatitis causes a localized blister or welt. 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