Currently viewing the category: "Blister Beetles"
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Can you help us identify this bug before science fair!!! See pic
My 7 year old son is doing a bug collection for his school’s science fair. We have identified most of our bugs on your site ( we love it!) but this one we couldn’t find. This bug was found on our doorstep.. Please help

Dear Unnamed Parental Assistant,
This is a type of Blister Beetle known as an Oil Beetle.

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Tiger Beetle in Sunol Regional Wilderness
We found these 2 tiger beetles yesterday (3/29/07) in the Sunol Regional Wilderness
park; that’s northern CA, East Bay, but I’m not sure which county. It’s definitely not the 6 spotted tiger beetle. I hope you can identify it. Or, after further searching your site, maybe it is: Cicindela_sexguttata, as I see that they can come without spots and they must be quite common. thank you,
Katherine Suri
back yard naturalist

Hi Katherine,
Tiger Beetles are carnivorous predators and your Blister Beetles were at some point feeding on the blossom in the photo. These Blister Beetles match an image on BugGuide of Lytta stygica, but a comment posted by Joyce Gross claims: “There is another beetle, Lytta chloris , which looks very much the same as Lytta stygica . But according to specimens I looked at, Lytta chloris occurs a bit further north, and more specifically, according to John Pinto, Lytta chloris doesn’t occur south of the Tehachapi Mountains.” We are concluding that your specimen is probably Lytta chloris unless Lytta stygica occurs further North in addition to its Southern California range. Since we brought up the carnivorous versus phytophagous or plant eating diets, Blister Beetles are quite a rarity in the beetle world. Though diets of immature and adult insects tend to include different foods, carvivorous larvae usually grow into carnivorous adults and phytophagous larvae grow into phytophagous adults. Many larval Blister Beetles are flesh eating, with grasshopper eggs being a choice food, while the adults feed on leaves and blossoms.

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blue beetles in New Mexico
Hi bugman,
I just moved to Las Cruces NM from Australia. My husband, 6 week old puppy and I were walking in one of the local arroyos yesterday and we saw what we thought were jewels on the ground. Closer inspection revealed two beetles. One large and one small….roundish like a grape with brilliant iridescent blue spots on their backs. They moved very fast once we took an interest in them. As my husband held back the puppy I used his cell phone to attempt a picture. I am not use to his phone and the glare was pretty bad at that time of the afternoon so the photos were dismal..but this one sort of captures the larger beetle in flight from us. My husband has previously lived in this area for a number of years and has never come across these beetles. I have started a search through Google and your site (I am up to page 6 of the beetles) but as the 6 week old puppy keeps wanting attention I am a bit distracted from the task! I hope that you can help us with an identification.
Thanks,
Kate

Hi Kate,
Your photo is quite blurry, but we are nearly certain this is a type of Blister Beetle in the genus Cysteodemus known as the Desert Spider Beetles. There is one blurry photo on BugGuide that matches your image, and it is identified as Cysteodemus wislizeni.

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Mystery SoCal Bug (not a jerusalem cricket!)
Howdy,
This is a shot I took back in March of 06. We found it on a herp trip to SoCal, it was in a canyon somewhere between Joshua Tree & the Salton Sea. It was about the size of a lima bean. I’m a biologist and I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s been bugging me for almost a year, help bugman! Cheers,
Brandon Fessler

Hey Brandon,
What a great photo of a Desert Spider Beetle in the genus Cysteodemus. This is probably Cysteodemus armatus which is found in California. Desert Spider Beetles are a group of Blister Beetles in the family Meloidae.

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metallic blue wingless insect
Dear bugman,
Our family enjoys finding critters in our backyard and identifying them on your wonderful site. But this time we are stumped. My son and I found this insect burrowing very slowly under a tree near our house in southeastern PA. By the next day, all that was left was a small pile of grit, similar to what you see next to an anthill. The insect seems to have succeeded in burying itself. Do you know what it is? It looks just like a carpenter ant except for that amazing faceted abdomen. Thanks in advance for your help.
Regards,
Mark Vitale

Hi Mark,
You probably never thought to search our beetle pages since the Short Winged Blister Beetle or Oil Beetle is an atypical looking beetle.

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Please Identify
I live in Central Arizona. I traveled to Lake Roosevelt to put my boat in the lake and I found hundreds, if not thousands of these crawling, climbing and flying around the storage yard. It was horribly hot that day, roughly 105. these bugs seemed to stay in the sun. some of the bugs were eating leaves and the rest seemed interested in procreation only. The elevation was roughly 1300′ above sea level. The time of year was early May. The terrain was desert. Surrounding vegetation is short bushes and some mesquite trees, with little ground cover.
Thanks,
Jim Scott

Hi Jim,
Your Iron Cross Blister Beetle mating frenzy is a nice addition to our Bug Love pages. These Blister Beetles are one of two possible species in the genus Tegrodera. It is most likely Tegrodera latecincta.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination