Subject: Blister Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug: Potholes State Park, Grant County, WA
Time: 09:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Spotted several unusual beetles on vegetation in the process of conducting a cultural resource technical visit. While not an entymologist, some google research suggests that the beetles are Lytta magister (also known as the desert blister beetle or master blister beetle). If so, they seem a little out of their defined range and season; as they are reportedly out in the spring. I see that someone in WA came across one in 2011 http://myhorseforum.com/thread
Invasive species? Climate change?
How you want your letter signed: Mr.? not sure what is meant by this question
We would have also concluded that these appear to be Master Blister Beetles, but additional research on BugGuide led to images of the closely related Lytta vulnerata which is reported from Washington. We cannot distinguish any appreciable differences in their appearance, so we are basing the identification solely on the reported range of the species. That research also led us to a sighting on our own site that should also be corrected.