blister beetle and its lunch?
The bugs: From looking at the beetle pages on your site, I’m pretty sure this is a blister beetle. The photo was taken on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, on 4/26. Unfortunately I don’t know what kind of plant this is. There is something like an egg sac to the right of the beetle, and little larvae are coming out of it. You can actually see one emerging from a hole, and there are others climbing up the stem. Is this beetle preying on them? Do you have any idea what type of bugs are coming out of the egg case? a picture of an intact egg case on the same plant: There were some Rosa rugosa growing nearby that also had the same types of egg cases, and many of them had a single drop of moisture hanging from them, as if they were oozing. The cases all had different black/brown/tan patterns and were very pretty.
We are not certain this is a Blister Beetle, and we cannot find a species match on BugGuide. We will check with Eric Eaton regarding the species and also see if he has any knowlege of the cases. Here is Eric Eaton’s response: ” Hard to tell from the image, but given the information provided, I don’t think it is a blister beetle. More likely it is a soldier beetle, family Cantharidae. I never saw blister beetles in the spring in Oregon, and cantharids are predatory on aphids and such, and are abundant in the spring. The “egg case” looks to be some kind of large scale insect. Could be that it is a female, and her offspring are exiting from beneath her. Scale insects disperse as tiny crawlers, so I imagine that is what is going on here.”