Currently viewing the category: "Blister Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black beetle, red wings
Geographic location of the bug:  Guilford, CT
Date: 04/22/2019
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.

Blister Beetle: Tricrania sanguinipennis

Dear Abigail,
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….
Abigail Wasserman.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Date: 03/25/2019
Time: 12:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I work as security at a school in 29 palms California and I saw this interesting beetle and tried to find out what it was but couldn’t. So here’s some pictures you tell me what it is. I don’t know
How you want your letter signed:  Clint Marshall

Master Blister Beetle

Dear Clint,
Thanks for writing back to us to inquire on the status of your identification request.  We went back through unanswered mail and located your stunning images of a Master Blister Beetle.  We posted our first images last week of the magnificent Master Blister Beetle, though in fact your images were submitted more than two weeks earlier.  Please excuse our lag time in responding.

Master Blister Beetle

Not a problem. This is the first time I have ever seen one of these in my 40 years plus living in 29 Palms. Thanks for replying. You can do what you want with the images.
Clint
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  California Spring Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  California, desert
Date: 04/14/2019
Time: 09:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! I have found a beetle in the desert munching on a normal grass weed. I tried to search online for beetles native to california, but have not found anything like it. Is it foreign? Or diseased? Thank you for helping me identify this beetle, I am so curious to find what it is!
How you want your letter signed:  Mimi

Desert Spider Beetle

Dear Mimi,
Spring vegetation growth in the arid deserts of California, Arizona and Nevada bring out the diversity in the Blister Beetle family Meloidae.  This Desert Spider Beetle is in the genus
Cysteodemus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Big black bug!
Geographic location of the bug:  Northeast Pennsylvania
Date: 04/11/2019
Time: 08:45 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! I found this while doing yard cleanup in one of my flower beds, under mostly dried grasses, and some damp leaves. It is about an inch to an inch & a half long & Was relocated to a far corner of the yard. Any idea what this is?
How you want your letter signed:  Knitwit in the poconos

Oil Beetle

Dear Knitwit in the poconos,
This is a Blister Beetle in the genus
Meloe, commonly called an Oil Beetle.  Blister Beetles should be handled with caution as some species are capable of secreting a compound known as cantharadin that can cause blistering in sensitive individuals.

Wow! Thank you for the quick reply and the great info!
~pj~

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this thing!?
Geographic location of the bug:  29 Palms, CA
Date: 04/08/2019
Time: 10:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw several of these critters crossing the dirt path as I was walking my dog. Took a couple shots and had on on the tip of my walking stick, hunched up with it’s butt angled down like it was stinging, and the front legs up looking poised for combat. Couldn’t get a shot of it like that since i was holding the stick and dog and camera and didn’t want to let the dog go in case they were stinging bugs…I at first thought they were velvet ants but nope…can’t find anything that looks like it online. they were about 1.5 to 2 inches in length…when i stopped to take pictures they all altered their path and came at me…what are they??
How you want your letter signed:  thanks, John Roush

Master Blister Beetle

Dear Josh,
This is a Master Blister Beetle, and though it does not sting, it does possess aposomatic or warning colors along with many Blister Beetles in the family Meloidae.  According to BugGuide:  “Pressing, rubbing, or squashing blister beetles may cause them to exude hemolymph which contains the blistering compound cantharidin. Ingestion of blister beetles can be fatal. Eating blister beetles with hay may kill livestock. Cantharidin is commercially known as Spanish Fly.”  We get several images of Master Blister Beetles from southern California and Arizona each April.  Just last week Daniel went to Joshua Tree National Park and he hoped to encounter some Blister Beetles, but alas, he returned without a single sighting.

Master Blister Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Blister Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Potholes State Park, Grant County, WA
Date: 09/06/2018
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/threads/blister-beetles.152491/page-2
Invasive species? Climate change?
How you want your letter signed:  Mr.? not sure what is meant by this question

Lytta vulnerata mating

Dear Mr,
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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination