Carpenter Bee Blister Beetle
Carpenter Bee Blister Beetle, Beepest Blister Beetle
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Synhoria testacea, or the Beepest Blister Beetle, is an insect which demonstrates an unusual way of living. Following hatching, S. testacea larvae travel to the heads of flowers. They wait for the next busy-bee to land on the flower, and sneakily latch on while the bee is distracted, too preoccupied to notice the new hitchhiker. Successful larvae which make it back to the hive feast on the provisions and bee larvae! These beetle tend to parasitise the nests of Carpenter Bees, hence their common names.
Although these beetles are parasites as larvae, they still perform an important role in the surrounding ecosystem.
Adults: A large blister beetle (2.2-3.5cm) that's distinctively wax read. The legs and antennae are contrastingly black, however, the tops of the very front legs have some red-brown hair. The larvae are quite unusual looking. They are small and segmented. They have to be reasonably discrete because they need to attach to the body of a bee while being undetected. They sit and wait on flower heads.
It's believed the adults don't eat anything during their lifetimes, so they're not going to do much damage to the garden.