BLISTER BEETLES DANGERS FOR HORSES

What is a Blister Beetle and What Does it Look Like?

Blister Beetles are members of a family of plant-feeding insects (Meloidae) that contain a toxic defensive chemical known as cantharidin.  This chemical protects them from predators.  Accidentally crushing a Beetle against the skin can result in a painful blister, the source of the insect’s common name. 

Blister Beetles have long (3/4 to 1-1/4 inch) narrow bodies, broad heads, and antennae that are about 1/3 the length of their entire bodies. The front wings are soft and flexible in contrast to the hard front wings of most Beetles.

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