Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar
Upcoming Events

BugGuide is a National Moth Week Partner. How to add your National Moth Week 2021 photos. July 17-25.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Previous events


TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#1487
Blister Beetle - Meloe

Blister Beetle - Meloe
Till Ridge Cove, near Dillard, Georgia, USA
April 11, 2003

Moved
Moved from Oil Beetles.

Cantharidiphilia
When I took this picture I noticed the little beetle riding on this larger beetle. At the time I wondered if this species had sexual dimorphism and perhaps the smaller one were the male. I read later that this wasn't the case and then was left wondering exactly what was going on here.

I just finished reading Eisner's For Love of Insects (1), and I believe the mystery has been solved. The smaller beetle is likely a cantharidiphiliac. That is, a lover and seeker of cantharidin. The larger beetle produces this substance. The smaller one, probably a male, seeks out cantharidin for consumption. Later, he'll transfer this substance to a mate, where it will protect both the female and the eggs.

 
Pedilus
Ah-HA! Now I see the little one, on the rear end of the Meloe....It is a Pedilus sp. (formerly in Pedilidae, a now defunct family, but now in Pyrochroidae).

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.