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

Subject:  Photos of Desert Spider Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Albuquerque New Mexico
Date: 06/13/2019
Time: 10:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just wanted to share these good images of the Desert Spider Beetle.
How you want your letter signed:  Chris Krupar

Desert Spider Beetle

Dear Chris,
Thanks for submitting your images of a Desert Spider Beetle.  According to BugGuide, the species found in New Mexico is
Cysteodemus wislizeni.

Desert Spider Beetle

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this
Geographic location of the bug:  Carlsbad, NM
Date: 05/26/2019
Time: 11:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  It flew away shortly after the photo.
How you want your letter signed:  Brent Griffith

Blister Beetle

Dear Brent,
This is a Blister Beetle in the genus
Pyrata, but it does not appear to be the similar looking Charlie Brown Blister Beetle.  According to BugGuide:  “27 spp. in our area.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Green blister bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Isle of Wight, UK
Date: 05/25/2019
Time: 02:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, found this bug near Orchard Bay on the Isle of Wight in England. From googling it looks like a green blister bug, but they don’t seem like they’re in the UK?
How you want your letter signed:  Jack

Spanish Fly and Soft Winged Flower Beetle

Dear Jack,
This is a very exciting posting for us.  We believe your Blister Beetle is the true Spanish Fly,
Lytta vesicatoria, which is pictured on UK Beetle Recording with some southern sightings including the Isle of Wight.  According to NBN Atlas:  “Spanish fly is an emerald-green beetle, Lytta vesicatoria, in the blister beetle family (Meloidae). It and other such species were used in preparations offered by traditional apothecaries, often referred to as Cantharides or Spanish fly. The insect is the source of the terpenoid cantharidin, a toxic blistering agent once used as an aphrodisiac.”  GBIF has an interesting article.  We are very curious about the smaller beetle in your image, which though the coloration is the same, appears to be a different species.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for getting back and helping identify the species in the photo, the links you included are interesting. There were more than just those 2, there were 10-15 of the smaller ones, all on the same flowers as in the picture. Took a photo of that one as it was the biggest by far, probably about 2 inches.
I didn’t think much of the size difference and just figured it was age/maturity, but am also intrigued having now looked at the life cycle of a beetle? Am I right in thinking they’d emerge from the pupa at their fully grown size?
Many Thanks,
Jack

Hi again Jack,
When insects including Beetles emerge from the pupa, they are fully grown.  Smaller individuals probably did not feed as well during the larval stage, hence the smaller size.
Update:  June 20, 2019
Thanks to a comment from Jim, we now know that the smaller beetle is a Soft Winged Flower Beetle in the family Dasyticidae:  Psilothrix viridicoeruleus.  There are images on UK Beetle Recording.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Portland Oregon, sandy riverbank
Date: 04/27/2019
Time: 06:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This cute little fellow got us all wondering what species he might be. He was spotted on the bank of the Willamette river near the forest’s edge in April. Any idea? Thanks so much for any insight you might have!
How you want your letter signed:  Beetle Bystander

Inflated Beetle

Dear Beetle Bystander,
This is a Desert Spider Beetle or Inflated Beetle in the genus
Cysteodemus.  According to BugGuide, there are two species in North America and neither is reported from Oregon, and the range is listed as “sw. US: Colorado, Mojave, and Chihuahuan deserts.”  We are not certain how unusual this Oregon sighting is.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle, red, yellow, black
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix, AZ
Date: 04/30/2019
Time: 05:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this in our back rose bed. Could not find anything like it online.
How you want your letter signed:  Puzzled in Phx

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Dear Puzzled in Phx,
The first time we ever received an image of gaudily colored Iron Cross Blister Beetle, we thought we were looking at a toy bug.  They would seem to be right on time based on our posting five identification requests of Iron Cross Blister Beetles at the beginning of May 2010.  Populations of individuals will vary from year to year.

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