Currently viewing the category: "Blister Beetles"
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Subject: Odd beatle like desert insect
Location: High Desert
August 5, 2015 2:23 am
Found this one in my house near Joshua Tree National Park.
Signature: VLH

Charlie Brown Blister Beetle

Charlie Brown Blister Beetle

Dear VLH,
Your beetle is
 Pyrota palpalis, a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae, and we are not certain what prompted some comic influenced entomologist to bequeath it with an amusing name, but it is commonly called a Charlie Brown Blister Beetle.

Charlie Brown Blister Beetle

Charlie Brown Blister Beetle

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Subject: So Cal Beetle?
Location: Sage, California (15 miles East of Temecula, CA)
July 24, 2015 4:16 pm
Hi,
We’ve found this beetle in Sage California in a sage chaparral area. It is a beetle shaped like a stink beetle and is approximately 1 to 1 1/2″ long.
They are found in groups of 1-7 on buckwheat plants.
They may have dug out of the ground and left behind a small mound of dirt (like worm castings) in a small target pattern.
We haven’t seen them for about 10 years: it last snowed here about ten years ago, and then this last winter.
Signature: Thanks, Daren

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Dear Daren,
This Iron Cross Blister Beetle in the genus
 Tegrodera probably has seasonal spikes in population when conditions are best to support larger populations, but we do receive at least a few requests from the Southwest each spring to early summer.  This is a later sighting than usual.

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Subject: Red and black striped beetle, High Atlas, Morocco
Location: High Atlas region, Morocco
June 11, 2015 2:33 am
Hello!
I’m a fan of your website, and I appreciate how you help people understand their insect friends.
I went hiking in the high Atlas region between Marrakech and Ouarzazat in Morocco and saw (among many wonderful bugs) these red and black striped beetles. They were hanging out at the tops of a specific type of plant, which I assumed they were doing hoping for a chance of mating(?) I haven’t been able to identify them myself. Unfortunately, the picture isn’t very clear (it was windy and rainy).
Signature: Thanks, Leanna

Blister Beetles

Blister Beetles

Dear Leanna,
Thanks for the compliment.  We have been on holiday, hence the delay in our response.  Though your image is extremely blurry, we thought these resembled Blister Beetles, and we found this image on FlickR of a similarly colored and marked Blister Beetle from Morocco identified as being in the genus
Mylabris.  A similarly colored individual from India, also on FlickR, is identified as Mylabris pustulata.  The posting provides this information:  “Blister beetles are beetles (Coleoptera) of the family Meloidae, so called for their defensive secretion of a blistering agent, cantharidin, a chemical that causes blistering on human skin. The black and red stripes on the beetle’s body warn predators that it is poisonous.”

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Subject: looks like devils coach horse
Location: ta248pq
May 19, 2015 6:42 am
a friend found this bug in west somerset England. we think it looks like a devils coach horse but bigger about 30mm long. can you help
Signature: Barry

Oil Beetle

Oil Beetle

Dear Barry,
At first we thought this was going to be a routine identification of an Oil Beetle in the genus
Meloe, and the only item of significance is that all of our many reports are from North America and we did not realize that the genus was represented in Europe.  As we commenced research, we were led to BugLife where we learned:  “Oil beetles are incredible insects, but they are also under threat. Three of UK’s native oil beetles are now extinct, and the remaining five species have suffered drastic declines in their distributions due to changes in the way our countryside is managed. …  Oil beetles have been identified as priorities for conservation action through the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) – meaning work needs to be done to conserve them and their habitats. To help landowners and managers our oil beetle management sheet is now available. ”   Another page on BugLife provides this information:  “Oil beetles are conspicuous, charismatic insects which are often encountered when out walking and enjoying the countryside. Their habit of seeking out bare compacted earth in which to dig nest burrows means that they are frequently seen on footpaths. The best time of year to look for oil beetles is March to June.
Please keep a look out for these beetles when walking in meadows, grasslands and open woodlands and let us know if you find them by submitting your sighting records and uploading your photos. Your records can make a real difference to our oil beetle conservation work.”
  We would urge you to be a citizen scientist and submit your sighting.  Since neither BugLife page included images of Oil Beetles, we are also linking to this BBC Earth News page where it states:  “Conservationists are asking the public to take part in the first survey of the UK’s threatened oil beetles.  These large, lustrous insects thrive in wildflower-rich grasslands and heaths – areas of habitat that are being lost.  In the last hundred years, half of the country’s eight native species of oil beetle have disappeared.”  We are featuring your submission.

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Subject: Big Bend Bug
Location: Big Bend National Park, Texas
May 9, 2015 7:26 am
Just after photographing the April sunrise lighting up Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park, we saw the bug in the attached photo. It is very pretty, with iridescent green, blue, and lavender highlights. Can you please identify him for us?
Thank you
Signature: Richard Banke

Inflated Beetle

Inflated Beetle

Dear Richard,
This is a gorgeous image of a Desert SpiderBeetle in the genus
Cysteodemus.  Based on ranges indicated on BugGuide, this is most likely Cysteodemus wislizeni, sometimes called a Black Bodied Meloid.

Daniel,
Thank you for the quick response (and the nice compliment on the photo!).
Rick

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Subject: BIG crazy beetle Nicaragua
Location: Playa Guasacate, Nicaragua
May 3, 2015 1:20 pm
Hello Mr. Bugman,
I am very curious what this large beetle might be. I looked all over online but did not find anything.
It was approx. 2 inches long, very orange big pincers on front and had large black spots. It almost looked fake! Cool and scary looking little guy. Would you be able to identify him for me?
Oh yes and I found it in the Southwest beach town called Playa Guasacate, Nicaragua.
Thanks!
Signature: Bug mystery solved

Blister Beetle:  Cissites auriculata

Blister Beetle: Cissites auriculata

The first time we received an image of this unusual Big Eared Blister Beetle, Cissites auriculata, we didn’t even recognize it as a member of the family.  According to BugGuide, it is found:  “w. & so. TX to Costa Rica; W. Indies” and “only recently (2004) found in the US” perhaps as a symptom of global warming.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination