Oedemeridae – False blister beetles
Can cause blisters when pinched or squashed against the skin
False blister beetles exhibit distinct characteristics that set them apart from their true blister beetle counterparts. Notably, they possess relatively elongated and soft bodies, often displaying a slender form. Some species within this family even boast a subtle metallic sheen. While their colors vary, they generally exhibit less vibrant hues compared to certain other beetle families.
These herbivorous beetles primarily sustain themselves by feeding on pollen and nectar from flowers. Interestingly, some species display preferences for specific types of flowers, positioning them as significant pollinators within their respective ecosystems. Through their foraging activities, false blister beetles contribute to the vital process of plant reproduction and the maintenance of biodiversity.
One intriguing feature that distinguishes False blister beetles is the unique shape of their antennae. In many species, the antennae adopt a saw-like or comb-like configuration, setting them apart from other beetle families. While the precise functions of these distinctive antennae are still a subject of study, they are believed to play essential roles in sensory perception and communication and perhaps even aid in their herbivorous activities.
False blister beetles can be found worldwide, displaying adaptability to diverse environments. They may employ mimicry for defense, with certain species imitating the appearance of other organisms. Their larvae inhabit decaying wood or plant matter, contributing to nutrient recycling, and they can release defensive chemicals when threatened, although less potent than true blister beetles. These beetles vary in size, and their presence or absence can indicate environmental health.