Epicauta pennsylvanica

Black Blister Beetle

Black Blister Beetle photo, Epicauta pennsylvanica






Family: Meloidae

Subfamily: Meloinae

Length: 6-13 mm


This genus has some 110 Nearctic species, with more than a dozen found in West Virginia and contiguous states. However, if you find a black blister beetle feeding on goldenrod, and if the beetle matches generally the photo above, you can be reasonably sure you have Epicauta pennsylvanica, a species that shows a strong preference for goldenrods.

Other traits to look for include a short black pubescence, also fine but dense punctations on the head, pronotum, and elytra. Various other members of the genus Epicauta feed upon potatoes and other nightshades, morning glories, clematis, legumes, and other herbaceous plants. Typically each species specializes in one family of plants.

Another Epicauta species to watch for in West Virginia is Epicauta pestifera.

Epicauta pennsylvanica range map

A note about our maps

Insects of West Virginia