Blog Postings

The postings will be introductions to each of my life lists. The lists themselves will appear in the side margin. I shall do some postings about particular localities and there will also be postings to provide updates every time I add a new species.
Please note that I am not qualified in any aspect of natural history - there will therefore be occasional (or, apparently, in the case of the hoverflies, a lot of) errors.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Blister Beetle


This tiny, ant-like beetle is a blister beetle of the family Meloidae – perhaps an Anthicus species, possibly Anthicius floralis – the narrow-necked harvest beetle. Like most creatures on the Island it enjoys aggravating humans. In this case it pierces the skin and injects canthadrin – a poisonous chemical which causes blistering of the skin. (Canthadrin is used medically to remove warts). For the purposes of scientific research and a better photo I allowed it to have a go at me. When not busy biting it was sprinting all over my hand which made it difficult to photograph. Once stationery and biting it was easier to photograph – the things I do for science!

I can confirm that being injected with canthadrin hurts.


  1. Hello
    This is not a beetle, but a bug !
    Beetles (like Meloidae) have jaws, but bugs have a rostrum (well seen on your picture).
    Here, it's a nymph (no wings more).

  2. thankgosh! i was actually searching up what was leaving these blisters on my son and i and turns out ive been seeing these around the house...crunchy bastards lol ... Any tips of keeping them away?


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