Photo by Melody

Ashgray Blister Beetle (Epicauta fabricii)

Order: Coleoptera (ko-lee-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Meloidae
Genus: Epicauta
Species: fabricii


No positives
No neutrals
2 negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Emerson, Iowa
Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Canyon, Texas
Georgetown, Texas

By Peachykeen
Thumbnail #1 of Ashgray Blister Beetle (Epicauta fabricii) by Peachykeen

By C_A_Ivy

Thumbnail #2 of Ashgray Blister Beetle (Epicauta fabricii) by C_A_Ivy

By C_A_Ivy

Thumbnail #3 of Ashgray Blister Beetle (Epicauta fabricii) by C_A_Ivy

Member Notes:

Negative Peachykeen On Jul 20, 2008, Peachykeen from Seward, NE wrote:

These bugs ate my potato, tomato, swiss chard and cucumber plants. It leaves its droppings (dark brown) in its wake. Very destructive. It appeared in the garden in mid-July in wet/humid conditions.

Negative Deekerdee On Jul 15, 2013, Deekerdee from Medicine Lodge, KS wrote:

I've been picking these bugs off my tomato plants for the past several weeks. The first time, the weather had been hot, dry, and windy for some time. Today it is rainy and cool, but they're back again. I check every few days. I've never seen these on tomatoes before. Also, some of them are almost golden, others are gray. Biggest so far was 1.25"

Best tip for hand picking: hold a bowl below each insect as you pick it off. They have a habit of dropping off to another leaf, and it's easy to catch them in the bowl. I'm a bit squeamish and bring scissors to kill them, but I have pinched a number of them between my fingers with no ill effects besides the ick factor. *

As stated by others, this is a very destructive bug.

*Addendum: curious as to why they are called blister beetles, I searched the net. Apparently they secrete an acid that causes blisters, so be careful. They don't seem to bother me, thankfully!

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