Epicauta  pardalis - blister beetle
Arizona, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

When bothered, blister beetles exude a potent toxin (Cantharadin) from their leg joints.  The chemical causes painful blisters where it touches human skin.

USA AZ Pima Co.: 16 km ESE Green Valley
31º46.907'N 110º50.583'W 1200m
20.v.2007 Aggregation of blister beetles on mesquite flowers, Sonoran Desert wash, 1200hr
#AW2890, voucher specimens deposited at the University of Arizona.

This image is copyrighted by the photographer and cannot be used without permission. To obtain permission to use this image, please email Alex Wild. (alwild (at)  Most of the photographs on are reduced from their original size and compressed for more efficient web transmission.  In some cases, higher quality versions are available.

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 20D, using a Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x Macro Lens.