Location: Tucson, Arizona
September 1, 2015 8:23 pm
We live in Tucson and have had a lot of rain this year. We took the kids to the waterfalls at Tanque Verde and found a few of these odd bugs. They look like a cross between some kind of caterpillar and a scorpion (at least how the tail curls up?)
They were right near the shrubs by the water and some just on the rocks. I have been here 11 years and never come across these before- I am thinking its a larvae for something? Any ideas?
Five years ago, we had some difficulty trying to identify the Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva, Physonota arizonae, but now there are more images available online. The shrub upon which you found them is most likely the Canyon Ragweed. It is interesting that the images you provided show two projections at the tip of the abdomen, while our previously posted images show fecal droppings carried at the tip of the abdomen, so we presume the projections have adapted for that purpose, perhaps as camouflage or to make the larva less appetizing. Many species of Tortoise Beetles have larvae that behave similarly.