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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

CMR Bean Beetle

Afrikaans name: Blaaskewer

CMR Bean Beetle

CMR Bean Beetle

Photo © Steven Herbert

Mylabris oculata

The CMR Bean Beetle (Mylabris oculata) gets its unusual name from the similarity between its colouration and the uniform of the Cape Mounted Riflemen in days gone by. It is also known as the Blister Beetle. The name of Blister Beetle is a reference to the blisters on your skin after coming into contact with one of these brightly coloured insects.

The beetles are regarded as a pest by farmers as they feed on the flowers of flowering crops such as beans.

CMR Bean Beetles are normally seen during summer and are often found in areas where grasshoppers or locusts breed. There seems to be some sort of relationship between the larvae of these beetles and grasshoppers.

These beetles are mimicked by the Meloid-mimicking Jewel Beetle (Agelia petelii).


References and further reading

Pocket Guide - Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker & Charles Griffiths - Year Published: 2015 - Page: 82

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 401

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