What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Invasion of the Thunder Bugs
Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 8:01 PM
My cousin and I were riding our bikes through our subdivision in Arizona when we noticed a huge congregation of these red, yellow, and black bugs on the sidewalk next to a construction sit. It was more toward the middle of August and about 98 degrees F*. They were pretty big, 1.3 – 2 inches long, and quite fierce looking (their coloring reminded us of a thunder/firestorm), although, even with the ultra efficient-looking wings, they didn’t fly when we came near and were actually a bit sluggish. We did want to touch them, but, quite content with our bite-free, scratch-free, sting-free hands, we ultimately settled for a photograph. So, to cut a long story in a concise little request: we were sort of hoping you could help us identify them?
Andy and Chipi

Iron Cross Blister Beetles

Iron Cross Blister Beetles

Dear Andy and Chipi,
Every once in a while we receive a photo that we consider spectacular. We absolutely love your photo of Iron Cross Blister Beetles. These flashy beetles make appearances in Arizona and California in the spring.  While handling Iron Cross Blister Beetles, or any other Blister Beetles for that matter, would probably not result in bites, scratches or stings, there is a very good chance it might result in blisters since the beetles secrete a substance known as cantharidin, the blistering agent.  It is also the legendary Spanish Fly, the aphrodesiac made from ground Blister Beetles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

5 Responses to Iron Cross Blister Beetles

  1. Paloma says:

    For the past three days I saw this weird insect named Iron Cross Blister Beetles in my backyard, first were only two, but in the last day there were four of them; and I have a question, What would happen if this insect was in contact with my dog, he had started to scratch itself, he didn’t do it before; It can be a problem? May this insects caused something? What should I do?.
    I’m from Sonora, but is the first time I see this kind of insect. Thank You 🙂

  2. Joshua Vasquez says:

    Me and my son found an cross blister beetle under our back stairs outside. I wish I could post a picture. For you but we let it go because my son can’t keep his hands off anything and im not having or letting him get any blisters on his hands or face

  3. Becky says:

    a few days ago while outside, i noticed some stinging and thought a bug was biting me, i looked down and there was white liquid on my arm, i wiped it away and later a blister formed. a couple days later i found this brightly colored insect and looked it up to find that it is an iron cross blister beetle! now the mystery of my blister is solved!

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