Subject: unidentified insect
Location: Phoenix, AZ
April 14, 2017 3:36 pm
I was in Phoenix, AZ last week (first week of April) and found what was left of an insect in the grass. I think a bird ate the abdomen of this insect? Maybe the wing spread was 2″? I tried to identify it by looking at pictures on line, but I have struck out thus far. Can you help me identify this interesting looking insect?
We always love receiving and featuring our first Iron Cross Blister Beetle from the genus Tegrodera each spring, and this year that distinction goes to your submission, however we generally are thrilled to receive a living example. We are quite curious what ate the fatty abdomen on your individual and left behind the harder elytra, legs and front of the body. We often receive images of Prionids and Cicadas that have been eaten in a similar manner, and we suspect birds are the predators in question. The curious thing about your Blister Beetle is that it is a member of a family that is known for the ability to secrete the compound cantharidin that causes blistering in human skin and that could make horses quite ill if they ingest Blister Beetles while eating hay.