Black bug with red stripes and small wings
August 17, 2009
I have been seeing this unidentified bug on my walks for the last 3 or 4 years. They are usually walking across the road. The photos were taken in the evening at sundown. The bugs were climbing up to stay in the sun, and on the rocks they were finally being still enough to take good photos. I have not noticed them eating the vegetation. These bugs are as large as I have seen them, about 1 inch long. They drag their long abdomen leaving a very specific track.
The wings are hard, shiny, and dimpled like orange peel; very beetle like, and useless. The head looks like an ant head, without large pincers. I have more pictures if you want them.
What are they?
Rebecca, Cuba, NM
Cuba, New Mexico
This is a Blister Beetle in the genus Megetra, and sadly, it has no common name other than the general family name of Blister Beetle. According to BugGuide: “Range Restricted to Chihuahuan Desert of the USA (TX, NM, and extreme southeastern AZ) and Mexico (where most of this desert region is located).” In the past, we received a submission from Spain that looks very much like the genus Megetra, and is probably in the same tribe, Eupomphini. You should use caution if handling a Blister Beetle as they can release a compound cantharidin which is a blistering agent.