Living With Hypermetamorphosis

Blister Beetle F

Black Margined Blister Beetle, Epicauta pestifera, Feeding On Pollen

Insects are admired for their metamorphosis, the ability to transform from one form to another. Several Blister beetles in the family Meloidae (including Epicauta) have larval stages with multiple forms. The first form that hatches from the egg is sclerotized and mobile with long walking legs. This triungulin form (A) actively seeks the eggs of grasshoppers. The triungulin then molts to a very different form (B) with shorter legs that resembles the carob larva of a ground beetle. This stage molts to an inactive non-feeding stage called a pseudo pupa (C). The pseudopupa can be an overwintering stage with reduced respiration and arrested development much like the pupa stage of many insects. The stage that emerges from the pseudopupa is not an adult but another larval form (D) resembling the larva of a scarab beetle (a grub). The final larval stage molts into a true pupa (E). It is in this stage that the beetle completes its complicated life cycle to emerge as an adult.


Immature Life Stages of the Blister Beetle, Epicauta.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment, Taxonomy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living With Hypermetamorphosis

  1. Pingback: Living With Hypermetamorphosis | Living With Insects Blog

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