What is this thing?
Location: Bishop, California
December 11, 2010 8:06 pm
I saw a group of these on a small weed just south of Bishop California in eastern California on Route 395. I haven’t been able to identify it through any books or online resources that I’ve found.
This unusual beetle is an Iron Cross Blister Beetle in the genus Tegrodera. Many years ago when we received our first image of one of these incredibly colored beetles, we were awe struck by its beauty. That initial impression has never faded. Blister Beetles should be handled with care as they exude a compound known as cantharidin that causes blistering of the skin. Blister Beetles have very complex life cycles and you can read about them in our archive and on BugGuide.