welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

and... not an ant

We found this lovely lady meandering among the leaves near the Jerusalem Artichoke bed we were harvesting on Monday. About an inch long, black with a definite metallic blue sheen. Ant? Beetle? Some bizarre combination of the two? Today we looked it up and it is a Meloe angusticollis, the blue short-winged blister beetle, or oil beetle. As it turns out, it's a good thing we appreciated her beauty but didn't touch her. Apparently when disturbed, they secrete an oil that causes blisters. Woah. That's harsh. Moral of the story? Enjoy nature, but don't touch bugs if you don't know what they are.