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Blister Beetles (Family Meloidae)
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Blister Beetles (Family Meloidae)

General: The Blister Beetles (Family Meloidae) are common in the deserts around Las Vegas. Blister beetles tend to be fast moving ground beetles and include such common species as the big, red and orange beetles we see mating on flowers in the spring.

Blister beetles, in general, are recognized by their narrow, elongate body plan, soft and flexible elytra, and pronotus (middle body part) that is narrower than the head and abdomen. A few species (inflated beetles and oil beetles), however, are quite broad.

When disturbed, many blister beetles exude or squirt a substance that contains cantharadin, a chemical compound that can cause blistering on human skin and acts as a pretty good defense mechanism.

Lytta magister (desert blister beetle)

Lytta magister (desert blister beetle)

Pleuropasta mirabilis (white blister beetle) Pleuropasta mirabilis (white blister beetle)
Phodaga alticeps (flattened blister beetle) Phodaga alticeps (flattened blister beetle)
Meloe spp (oil beetles) Meloe spp. (oil beetle)
Cysteodemus armatus (inflated beetle) Cysteodemus armatus (inflated beetle)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170629

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