blister beetle

(Nemognatha spp.)

Overview
blister beetle (Nemognatha sp.)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
 

Nemognatha is a genus of small to medium-sized blister beetles. They occur in southern Europe, southern Africa, and in North and South America. In the United States they are most common in the southwest. They are uncommon in Minnesota.

There are about 80 species of Nemognatha worldwide, 27 species in North America north of Mexico, and at least 2 species in Minnesota.

     
 

The female lays eggs on flowers. When the larvae hatch, they attach themselves to visiting bees and are carried back to the bee’s nest. Once there, they feed on bee eggs and stored food. Adults feed on nectar and pollen of various flowers, especially those in the Aster (Asteraceae) family.

 
             
 
Description
 
 

Adults are 3 16 to (5.5 to 15.0 mm) in length. The outer lower mouth parts (galeae) are greatly elongated into a sucking tube, allowing the beetles to drink flower nectar. On the front and middle legs the last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has five segments. On the hind leg the tarsus has only four segments. The claw at the end of the tarsus is comb-like.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  1/12/2020      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Cucujiformia  
 

Superfamily

Tenebrionoidea  
 

Family

Meloidae (blister beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Nemognathinae  
 

Tribe

Nemognathini  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

blister beetle (Nemognatha lutea)

blister beetle (Nemognatha nemorensis)

blister beetle (Nemognatha palliata)

blister beetle (Nemognatha piazata)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

This genus has no common name. The common name of the family Meloidae is blister beetles, and is applied here for convenience.

 
       
 

What’s in a Name?

 
 

The name Nemognatha means “thread jaw”. It refers to the mouthparts which are modified into a long proboscis. This feature is common among other insects but rare in beetles.

 
       

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Proboscis

The protruding mouthpart(s) of a sucking insect.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    blister beetle (Nemognatha sp.)   blister beetle (Nemognatha sp.)  
           
    blister beetle (Nemognatha sp.)   blister beetle (Nemognatha sp.)  
           
    blister beetle (Nemognatha sp.)      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    blister beetle (Nemognatha sp.)      
           

 

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Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  James Carver
6/9/2020

Location: Mankato

developed blister on top of foot.

   
  Alfredo Colon
6/12/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

blister beetle (Nemognatha sp.)  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 11/19/2018

Last Updated:

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