Subject:  Texas beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Big Bend N.P.
Date: 04/14/2021
Time: 05:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you identify these beetles found feeding on Lupine?
How you want your letter signed:  H2oggre

Blister Beetle: Lytta cribrata

Dear H2oggre,
Thanks for sending multiple camera angles of your Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae.  We believe based on this BugGuide image that it is Lytta cribrata, but we would not rule out a different species in the genus.  It is described on BugGuide as: “Pronotoum black at center, broadly orange at sides; head with a diamond-shaped orange frontal spot” and its range is listed as:  “sw. TX (Chinati Mts and Eagle Pass), Mexico (Chihuahua, Durango).”  Does that match your location in Texas?

Blister Beetle: Lytta cribrata

Thank you Daniel.
Yes it does match Chihuahuan desert area. I need to look up what the “Pronotoum” is, though. If is the center “thorax section” [before the black section with its wings; yet behind the red and black section with its eyes and antennae] that fits the description. It certainly matched the color markings if that is what I think the pronotoum is.
The lobed antennae seemed to me rather distinctive as does the y-shaped pincer tipped legs. Any mention of those in the description of Lytta cribrate?
Plus the wings are very textured. That is not dew on the surface.
I really appreciate your help Daniel.
Richard Todd

Blister Beetle: Lytta cribrata

Good morning Richard.  The Pronotum is defined on BugGuide as:  ” the upper surface of the prothorax, the first segment of the thorax. Shape of the pronotum is often important in identification of beetles, and many other groups.”  While Coleopterists, entomologists who specialize in Beetles, have an extensive vocabulary of terms they use to describe characteristics, we believe punctate, which is defined on BugGuide as “marked by spots, dots, points, depressions, or punctures” could be used to describe the texture of the elytra or wing covers on the Blister Beetles you observed.

Location: Big Bend, Texas

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