Arizona Beetle on Creosote Bush
The attached picture was taken in an area called Cascabel in Cochise County, Arizona. The area is approximately 30 miles north of the town of Benson, at an elevation of 3500 feet above sea level. The bugs were quite numerous on several creosote bushes. Please identify. Thanks,
Beetle on Creosote Bush, Cascabel, Arizona
Your beetle is a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae. It closely resembles an unidentified beetle in the genus Pyrota from Texas that was posted to BugGuide, but it is not an exact match. We will contact Eric Eaton for assistance.
Update: (07/28/2008) From Eric Eaton
Hope your lecture at the Getty went well! … Your identifications of the blister beetles are correct to genus. There is no easy way to determine species without having a collection to compare to, or the specimen in hand to run through a “key.” Lots of individual variation in color (and pattern in the case of Pyrota) makes ID impossible from an image alone. … I think that covers all your questions. Keep up the great work.