Subject: Black beetle, red wings
Geographic location of the bug: Guilford, CT
Time: 08:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Could you tell me what this bug is? There are a number of them in our front (southern exposure) garden. I can’t find a good match online.
How you want your letter signed: Abigail W.
Generally, when we receive an identification request, we have at least an idea to what family a creature belongs, which makes research easier, but in the case of this Beetle, we were not even sure of a family. We turned to Arthur V. Evans excellent book Beetles of Eastern North America and we eventually identified your colorful beetle as a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae, Tricrania sanguinipennis, but it is very atypical looking for a Blister Beetle. We located an image on BugGuide for comparison. According to BugGuide, it is “A parasitoid of colonial bees, such as Colletes.”
Thank you so much for replying! I’m glad to have provided a challenge. After contacting you, I remembered about our local agricultural station. They were also able to ID my beetle as the Tricrania. I’m guessing they are thoroughly enjoying my ground bees….