Love your site! Took your advice and purchased Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America to aid in identifying the interesting insects I often photograph. However, after searching the book and through all your pages of beetles, I couldn’t identify this guy (or gall). It appears to be a beetle, but can’t determine for sure. The photo was taken in Florida on April 18, 2002. Any ideas?
This is a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae. We believe it is the Florida Blister Beetle, Epicauta floridensis, based on images posted to BugGuide. We will consult Eric Eaton, who authored the Kaufman Guide, to see if he agrees.
I agree the blister beetle is in the genus Epicauta. Beyond that, I can’t say. Epicauta is probably decades overdue for a revision, and I dare say that molecular studies will reveal many more species than are presently described. Sometimes, identification to only genus level (or even family in some cases) is quite an accomplishment all by itself:-) Good work.