Subject:  Small black beetles  with jewel colors of blue and violet
Geographic location of the bug:  Little Belt mountains Montana
Date: 08/20/2018
Time: 11:48 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have seen these in the months of June and July on blooming mountain lupines in the Little Belt and the Castle Mountains. I would like to know what kind of beetle these are?
How you want your letter signed:  David C Powers

Leaf Beetles, we believe

Dear David,
The image of a solitary beetle on a blossom is definitely a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae, but we are uncertain of the species.  The other image showing an aggregation of Beetles appears to be a different species.  Can you clarify any information on these two images, especially the group of beetles.  Were they found aggregating as the image depicts?  Here is a BugGuide image of 
Linsleya sphaericollis that resembles the Blister Beetle in your image of a solitary individual, but again, we cannot verify the species.

Leaf Beetles

Hi, thank you for the quick response.  The aggregation of beetles I thought was the same, as the solitary beetle. But on closer inspection, I see differences in body shape. The plant is not mountain lupine. I realized I had grabbed two images taken at different places. The group is later in the summer.  Each beetle isn’t very big. Maybe 3/8 to 1/2 inch. I am looking at the plant they are eating it isn’t milkweed or dogbane.  Here are more photos. They are part of the group. I isolated out a few of the beetles. They are mostly in focus. The photo was taken in July or August in Montana in the mountains.


Leaf Beetles

Dear David,
Your newly submitted images appear to be the same beetles that were in your original aggregation image, and we believe they are Leaf Beetles, possibly Flea Beetles from the genus
Altica like the ones in this BugGuide image.

Location: Little Belt Mountains, Montana

3 Responses to Leaf Beetles, we believe

  1. Cesar Crash says:

    Attica is misspelled, Altica.

  2. Cesar Crash says:

    Attica is misspelled, Altica.

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