Critters in west Texas

Edwin Barkdoll barkdoll at
Wed Jun 30 10:09:05 EST 1993

In article <20qpr2$8o8 at> dudleyd at (Dave Dudley) writes:
>On a recent trip to the Hill Country west of Austin, I encountered an
>insect that is known locally as a "blister bug".  Bites by this beast
>result in pronounced and painful blisters (hence the name, no doubt). 
>Does anyone have any additional information on this creature?

       There is a variety of blister beetles (they are true beetles not bugs). 
One, _Epicauta vittata_, may infest hay fed to horses causing for example 

>On a similar note, there is also a plant known as a "pea vine" in the area
>that is rather toxic to cattle.  I'd also be interested in any information
>about this. 

       Possibly, _Lathyrus_ species.  Can cause so called osteolathyrism and or 
neurolathyrism, which are manifest as skeletal and neurological problems, 
respectively.  Effects may take a few months to appear unless on a pure 
_Lathyrus_ diet which probably doesn't happen naturally.
Edwin Barkdoll
barkdoll at
eb3 at

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