Tiger Beetle in Sunol Regional Wilderness
We found these 2 tiger beetles yesterday (3/29/07) in the Sunol Regional Wilderness
park; that’s northern CA, East Bay, but I’m not sure which county. It’s definitely not the 6 spotted tiger beetle. I hope you can identify it. Or, after further searching your site, maybe it is: Cicindela_sexguttata, as I see that they can come without spots and they must be quite common. thank you,
Katherine Suri
back yard naturalist

Hi Katherine,
Tiger Beetles are carnivorous predators and your Blister Beetles were at some point feeding on the blossom in the photo. These Blister Beetles match an image on BugGuide of Lytta stygica, but a comment posted by Joyce Gross claims: “There is another beetle, Lytta chloris , which looks very much the same as Lytta stygica . But according to specimens I looked at, Lytta chloris occurs a bit further north, and more specifically, according to John Pinto, Lytta chloris doesn’t occur south of the Tehachapi Mountains.” We are concluding that your specimen is probably Lytta chloris unless Lytta stygica occurs further North in addition to its Southern California range. Since we brought up the carnivorous versus phytophagous or plant eating diets, Blister Beetles are quite a rarity in the beetle world. Though diets of immature and adult insects tend to include different foods, carvivorous larvae usually grow into carnivorous adults and phytophagous larvae grow into phytophagous adults. Many larval Blister Beetles are flesh eating, with grasshopper eggs being a choice food, while the adults feed on leaves and blossoms.

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