Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Hey


I have a question.. Are Tiger Beetles poisonous? (Aka) Chicken Chokers....

Dear Mike - In a word, "no." The only beetles that I know of that can be considered poisonous (in that it would be unwise to ingest them) are blister beetles in the family Meloidae (see http://tinyurl.com/pazcwcj), an African leaf beetle (family Chrysomelidae - see http://tinyurl.com/nzewoju) and possibly a species of flower beetle (family Melyridae) in New Guinea (see http://tinyurl.com/pzu76nj). Also, no beetles that I know of are venomous. Finally, the term "chicken choker" appears associated with the larvae of tiger beetles (see http://tinyurl.com/nfftb3x and scroll down); I have no idea as to the source of this association.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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