Blister Beetle – Wadi Grosbeak

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The Blister Beetles (Coleoptera:Meloidae) are global distributed insects except for New Zealand and the Antarctic region and are also called Oil Beetles. The species seen near Bani Saad wasMylabris calidathat has a distribution in central Asia (east to China and Korea), Caucasus and Transcaucasia, southern Balkan Peninsula, Near East, Levant and Arabian Peninsula and northern Africa.

The insect was common in the area where we saw them always on flowering plants. Adult beetles can be recognized by morphological characteristics such as soft body, bright coloration, rather elongate, head deflexed with narrow neck, pronotum not carinate at sides, heteromerous tarsi, smooth integument. The bodily fluids of blister beetles contain the skin irritant cantharadin, giving the family its common name.

It is possible that cantharadin acts as a protection against accidental consumption by large herbivores, as some animals will avoid grazing on vegetation supporting large numbers of orange, red, or otherwise brightly colored blister beetles.

 

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Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.

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