T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Beetle (Lax) Spotted (Parisopalpus nigronotatus)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Cucujiformia
Superfamily: Tenebrionoidea
Family: Oedemeridae
Genus: Parisopalpus
Species: P. nigronotatus
Binomial name: Parisopalpus nigronotatus
Common name: Spotted Lax Beetle, Spotted blister beetle.

Parisopalpus nigronotatus is one of several species of Lax Beetles found in New Zealand. It originates from Australia and is found here from Nelson northwards. 
In New Zealand, the adult beetles (12–15 mm long) are mainly polyphagous pollen and nectar-feeding. They are diurnal and nocturnal. Their grubs live in rotten wood.

Adults beetles contain the toxic cantharidin in their corporal fluids as a defensive mechanism which they release from their joints when handled. Cantharidin is secreted by the male beetle and given to the female as a copulatory gift during mating. Afterwards, the female beetle covers her eggs with it as a defence against predators. If one lands on you, quickly flick it off before toxins are released Wash the area with running water.

Below is an article published 16th January 2018 in the NZ Herald of a young boy who developed blisters from contact with a spotted lax beetle that was in his bed.  

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/