Common Names: Meloe impressusBlister oil beetle
Blister beetles emit an oily substance from leg joints when disturbed which contains contains cantharidin, and causes blistering of the skin. Medium to large beetles, typically elongated and rather cylindrical. Head broad, generally rectangular when viewed from above. Pronotum cylindrical and narrower than both the head and base of elytra. Elytra not flat, typically rolled over abdomen. Body soft, somewhat leathery.
Often found in flowers, foliage.
Edible Notes: Blister beetles emit an oily substance from leg joints when disturbed which contains contains cantharidin, and causes blistering of the skin. Accidental or intentional ingestion of these insects can be fatal. There are documented incidents of horses dying after eating hay in which blister beetles were inadvertently baled with the forage. Watch that curious children do not attempt to put these beetles in their mouths. The external use of cantharidin is commercially known as 'Spanish fly,' the supposed aphrodisiac.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.