Anza Borrego Bug
March 23, 2010
I came across this bug while hiking in the Anza Borrego State Park, near the Salton Sea, in Southern California in the afternoon of March 13th, 2010.It was about 100 yards from a blooming Ocotillo plant. I found it quite beautiful and would like it identified. Your help would be much appreciated.
Anza Borrego State Park, Southern California
Each spring, we get reports of sightings of Lytta magister, the Master Blister Beetle, from the Mojave and Colorado deserts in California and Arizona. Though BugGuide reports them from Nevada and Utah as well, we have not received any reports from those states. Your photo is the first one this year. Blister Beetles are a diverse family with numerous species living in the desert areas of the Southwest. Generally the adults are seen each year for a short period of time, usually in the spring when they feed on new plant growth. The larvae are parasitic on grasshopper eggs or the eggs of solitary bees.