How fascinating a beetle. Did you know this group of beetles begin their lives as kleptoparasites – stealing food from the the nests of solitary bees? As adults these beetles are primarily nectar and pollen feeders and use the specialized mouth parts visible in this photograph to collect their food – primarily from the flowers of Asteraceae. If that were not enough, these guys get their names from a defensive chemical they produce called cantharidin which can produce severe chemical burns and blisters when sprayed on skin and severe poisoning if ingested. This chemical has proven an effective treatment against diseases such as cancers and leishmaniasis. This guy was found at Shaw Nature Reserve.
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