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Insect: Blister Beetle

Find, identify & discuss the insects of SANParks
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rooibok
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Insect: Blister Beetle

Unread postby rooibok » Mon Feb 14, 2005 8:12 pm

This weekend at Kruger park I persuaded my friends wife to try a marula(this was on Saturday). She never had any before. About 10 minutes later she started to get a bit of a rash(neck area) and it itched quite a bit. :(
She remembered swiping something of her neck in the time having the marula and when it started to itch. The itching moved down her back and arm. Small blisters had formed on her arm by Sunday.
Someone in the park told us it is some sort of acid bug :?: Not sure if it is true and what the cure is.
Today the patient is still itching and she swore that she will never eat a marula again.
I'm on the other hand having some now while typing....yummy :!:
Last edited by rooibok on Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:43 am

We were bothered by them at Skukuza in January. It's a tiny insect, but BOY does it sting when it gets hold of you. :shock: Small blisters form which is made worse when you scratch or when it comes into contact with clothing. I takes at least a week to clear up. We used an antihistamine lotion to help with the itching.

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Unread postby rooibok » Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:04 am

A week you say...I will tell her the good news. Only 3 days of itching left :twisted:
I wonder what the insect is called :?: It's quite powerfull for it's size..

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Unread postby Pilane » Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:29 pm

They are of the Meloidae family and are commonly known as Blister beetles or CMR beetles. (CApe Mounted Rifles- because of the colouring) There are about 340 species and are between 5mm and 40mm long, so it would be extremely difficult to identify the correct spesies in this case. They produse a posion (Cantaridine- spelling) which causes blisters when it comes in contact with the skin as you've noticed. If swallowed they will more than likely kill you...

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Blister Beetles

Unread postby Imberbe » Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:42 pm

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Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:20 am

Blister beetle! CMR-beetle (English), Mylabris oculata.
All blister beetles contain cantharidin in their body fluids, and can give severe burns and blisters when handled. They exude a chemical that causes itching shortly after the chemical has touched human skin. A few hours later, large blisters begin to form and they stay for a day or two. (hence the popular name :wink: ).
Some people use blister beetles for traditional medical treatments.

These beetles may be up to 30 mm in length.
They feed on the flowers of a great variety of plants, and may become troublesome on many garden flowers, as well as on flowers of cowpea etc and also makes holes in young pods, thereby destroying the crop.

They may also attack the blossoms of fruit trees in some areas.
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Unread postby richardharris » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:27 pm

On a night drive, on a hot and humid summers night, everyone in the truck was inundated with insects - I have never seen as many before or since. One crawled up inside my trouser leg despite having sprayed liberally! It was a blister beetle.

A large blister developed overnight just below my knee - on this occasion no pain, and no itching. Kept it covered and dry till it burst - then used some antiseptic cream and covered with a large plaster.Within 3 days had dried up; took about a week to 'heal'. Despite being a large scar, there is now no sign of it at all.

Next time I go on a summer night drive I shall tuck my trousers into my socks!

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Unread postby Imberbe » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:51 pm

The Blister Beetles are actually a family, some looking quite different from the CMR Beetle.

Here is another type of Blister Beetle.

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Unread postby lisa » Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:10 pm

On our recent trip these beetles were all over the thorny acacias, yumming up pollen from the flowers that were in bloom. One in in particular right next to the road close to Lower Sabie was absolutely covered in hundreds of beetles. We had never seen anything like them before and were fascinated. We spent quite a long time photographing them. Of course other cars would stop to see what we were looking at and then look at us like we were crazy and pull away. :) We had no idea what they were, but never imagined they could pose any harm -- had we known, we probably would have missed what actually turned out to be a very interesting photographic subject. This was December 30th.
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Unread postby Imberbe » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:28 pm

:D The magic of nature often resides in the small things (modern) man seems to be unable to appreciate!

Congrats! You have moved beyond merely chasing the "big 5" 8) :wink:
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Unread postby Meg » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:14 am

Ouch! We had a lot of these on the farm, they seemed in particular to be attracted to people wearing red or blue clothing (a tip for the future?).

I managed never to get any blisters but just about everyone else did (lucky I guess). I hope your wife is feeling better soon and that she'll come back round to eating the fruit of the Gods we call marula's.
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Unread postby deefstes » Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:39 am

Are these the same beetles that we used to know colloquially as "Oogpisters"? From what I've been led to believe they can permanently bind you if they "pis" you in the "oog".

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Insect: CMR Beetle

Unread postby frisian » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:20 pm

hi everybody,
can someone help me to identify this insects?
thanks

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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:47 am

I think its known as a CMR Beetle, have no refrences so im not certain :D
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Imberbe
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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby Imberbe » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:16 am

The second is the CMR Bean beetle. It feeds on flowers, ornamental plants etc, often found in swarms. Colour can vary, some being red.
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