Friday Beetle Blogging: Epicauta Blister Beetle
April 4, 2008 by myrmecos
Epicauta pardalis – spotted blister beetle
Here’s a beetle so toxic it can kill a horse
. The horse doesn’t even need to ingest the beetle, it just needs to ingest something that the beetle bled on. Blister beetles produce the defensive compound cantharadin- the active ingredient of the aphrodesiac Spanish Fly- which they reflex-bleed out their joints when threatened:
photo details (top) Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon 20D
f/13, 1/250 sec, ISO 100, indirect strobe in white box.
(bottom) Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 20D
f/13, 1/250 sec, ISO 100, flash diffused through tracing paper.