What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mystery Red Bug in Tucson, AZ
May 17, 2010
Hello Bugman,
I was working in my backyard garden this afternoon when I spotted something red and yellow moving about in a small flower bush. I was shocked by it because I could not quickly place it into any generic category. I could not call it an ant or beetle or bee and my husband and I have been baffled ever since. It peacefully ate flower buds while we photographed it. My husband commented that it had “personality” in the way it grasped at leaves and maneuvered through the bush to find and eat buds.
I have never seen anything like this and I hope somebody can identify it for us. I wonder too, should I expect to see any more of these in my back yard this summer?
Diana
South-East Tucson, Arizona

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Hi Diana,
We have gotten more reports of Iron Cross Blister Beetles from Arizona this year than in any other year since we began this online column ten years ago.  Expect to see them until through June.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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