Insect: Blister Beetle

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Insect: Blister Beetle

Unread post by rooibok »

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 post by Guinea Pig »

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 post by Pilane »

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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Unread post by Jakkalsbessie »

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 post by richardharris »

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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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by Imberbe »

CMR Bean beetle. It feeds on flowers, ornamental plants etc, often found in swarms. Colour can vary, some being red.
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Re: Insect ID needed.

Unread post by Ludwig »


can someone help me and identify this beetle?
Thank you.


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Re: Insect ID needed.

Unread post by Elsa »

Ludwig, I would say its the CMR Blister Beetle - Mylabris oculata
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