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Name that bug

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Name that bug

Post  Khrishna on 6/23/2011, 8:54 pm

I've got a bug in my garden. I don't think it is a beetle because the exoskeleton is too soft. They have a very small head compared to the size of their abdomen. Some of them are totally black, and some of them are black with an orange stripe on their hind ends. I have seen them on my spinach, beets and chard--I guess they like leaves. I was going to take a picture of one and post it, but of course I can't find one at the moment.

Any ideas?
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Re: Name that bug

Post  pattipan on 6/23/2011, 9:45 pm

Khrishna wrote:I've got a bug in my garden. I don't think it is a beetle because the exoskeleton is too soft. They have a very small head compared to the size of their abdomen. Some of them are totally black, and some of them are black with an orange stripe on their hind ends. I have seen them on my spinach, beets and chard--I guess they like leaves. I was going to take a picture of one and post it, but of course I can't find one at the moment.

Any ideas?

Not a lot to go on here. Any more distinguishing characteristics? Size? Legs? Wings? Spines? Did you see it eating anything? Could it be a larvae of some type? Ladybug larvae are black with orange/red colorings (coloring varies).

Ladybug larva:


pattipan
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Name that bug

Post  sherryeo on 6/23/2011, 9:54 pm

Ooooh, Khrishna! I hope they are ladybug larvae! What I wouldn't give to have ladybug larvae in my garden! All I seem to get are the bad kinds of bug larvae and nymphs!
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Re: Name that bug

Post  Khrishna on 6/23/2011, 10:25 pm

Ok I just tried like five hundred times to post a pic but it's not quite user-friendly to do that here, is it?! Now I'm late for bed, maybe I'll try again tomorrow. GGGRRRRrrrr.
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Name that bug

Post  sherryeo on 6/23/2011, 10:30 pm

Hi Khrisna,

Boffer has created a couple of posts with step by step instructions on how to post pics, depending on how you want to do it. I hope these links will help.


http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t843-how-to-post-pictures-from-your-personal-album


http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t129-how-to-post-a-picture-located-on-your-computer
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Re: Name that bug

Post  Khrishna on 7/4/2011, 10:43 am

Ok Thanks Pattipan. Sorry for my frustration. It had been a long week! Last week was long too which is why I'm only now getting back to post the pics. The little buggers are still around.





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Re: Name that bug

Post  pattipan on 7/4/2011, 1:06 pm

It's a Blister Beetle, more specifically...Epicauta conferta. Sometimes called Oklahome Blister Beetle. They eat plants, as you already know!

http://bugguide.net/node/view/137399

Now you can search the Web about how to get rid of them. Do you have a lot of them and are they slow and easy to catch? I suggest handpicking and throwing them in a container of soapy water. Search for more drastic measures if you SFG is becoming overrun with them.

Good luck and let us know if you find out anymore info!

pattipan
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Name that bug

Post  sherryeo on 7/4/2011, 1:24 pm

Ewww, Khrishna, you might want to be careful how you approach those blister beetles. Apparently, they're called that for a reason. I found that "they secrete Cantharidin, a poisonous chemical that causes blistering of the skin. Cantharidin is used medically to remove warts." The picture, below, had this caption
Blisters resulting by smashing a single blister beetle on the neck. While uncomfortable, no medical treatment was implemented and the blisters soon diminished on their own.





So while apparently not terribly serious, I'd be a bit careful to try to avoid any unpleasant accidents.
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Re: Name that bug

Post  pattipan on 7/4/2011, 2:10 pm

I guess they earn their name! I didn't look much beyond identifying the bug, so thanks for posting the info, sherryeo! I thought at first the name came from the way their bellies enlarged after gorging on our plants!

http://chemweb.calpoly.edu/cbailey/377/PapersSp2000/Meredith/

Better wear protective gloves then...or pick them off with tweezers.

pattipan
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Re: Name that bug

Post  camprn on 7/4/2011, 2:32 pm

pattipan wrote:

Better wear protective gloves then...or pick them off with tweezers.

pattipan
LOL, this reminds me of a scene from a movie
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Re: Name that bug

Post  Khrishna on 7/4/2011, 9:13 pm

Wow, good to know. Thanks for identifying it, Pattipan! I've caught quite a few by hand without any problems. One of those articles said that you have to basically squeeze an adult blister beetle to get the chemical on your skin. However, that makes me worry about my dog, who would eat them if she could. I'll use your idea of soapy water when catching them. I'm not overrun with them; maybe it won't be too hard to completely eradicate.

thanks again!

Kris
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