Currently viewing the category: "Blister Beetles"
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it fly’s
from tucson arizona. there are very many of these insects outside my house. please tell me.
Mikie

Hi Mikie,
We haven’t gotten a photo of one of these for years. Your little beauty is a member of the Blister Beetle Family known as Iron Cross Blister Beetle, Tegrodera latecincta.

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black-orange bug?
Hello: your web site is really cool. My son and I found a bug outside and we don’t know what it is. We live in Phoenix, Arizona. The bug is pretty big. Maybe 1 inch long. Black body with an orange head. We found it on a leaf on our Magnolia tree. Just like to know anything about it. Is it harmless? I haven’t seen one of these bugs after living in Arizona for 10 years. So I am curious as to what it is and if it is common around here.
thanks!
Paul Avona

Hi Paul,
You have a photo of an Arizona Blister Beetle, Lytta magister. It is found in deserts in Arizona. Much of the life cycle is still unknown, but adults eat plant tissues of desert shrubs and larvae attacks grasshopper eggs in soil. Blister Beetles secrete a chemical cantharidin which causes blisters on human skin.

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What kind of beatle is this?
This picture was sent to me by a freind who is doing a Bald Eagle study near Needles Eye of the Gila river in Arizona.
Thanks,
Mike

Hi Mike,
We were unsure so we contacted Eric Eaton. He also wanted to be positive, and he wrote back: “I queried Dr. Carl Olson at the U of Arizona, and he suggests it is most likely a blister beetle, MAYBE Lytta viridana. Meloids were on my short list also, so you can draw your own conclusions. Thanks.
Eric”
So while we are not 100% positive, I hope this helps. The common name for this beetle is the Caragana Blister Beetle.

Thanks, I will check with Carl Olsen myself too. I used to date one of his students and forgot all about it. I have thousands of bug pictures I need to get identified. If I get the time to sort them out I will send them in. I am out in the field most every weekend and about 3 times durring the week looking for herps. If ya all need any pictures let me know.
Mike Everett
Tucson Az

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2 Shiny Black Bugs (Pic included)
Dear Bugman,
Before you view the picture…I have to apologize. I fear I did not see them till it was too late. On top of that…it looks like they were enjoying one of the finer things in life right before I took it. I am really sorry. But I’m still curios as to what they are. I’m 25, and have lived in Pennsauken all my life, but never seen anything like them.
They have what seem to be wings (or maybey they’re just the shell covering the real wings)…a shiny black carapace with a hint of turquois. Their Antennae are segmented. (I know there is a significant difference between Segmented and smooth antenna…but I forgot what) I didn’t get a frontal shot… But their mouth-parts didn’t have any substantial mandibles. The mouth-parts resembled that of a common grasshopper…for lack of appropriate term. This picture was taken in Pennsauken, New Jersey…about a 20 min drive from Philadelphia, PA. Again, I apologize for their demise. It was not intentional. Hope you can shed a little light on it.
Thanks in advance,
Russ

Hi Russ,
You have an awesome photo of a pair of Oil Beetles who met a tragic end while procreating. Another common name is Short Winged Blister Beetle, Meloe angusticollis. The beetle is found in Southern Canada and the Northern United States. It is usually found in crop fields and meadows where it eats herbaceous foliage being particularly fond of potatoes. If disturbed, the beetle feigns death by falling on its side. The leg joints exude droplets of liquid that cause blisters.

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spooky bug
Hi,
Found this menacing looking bug at our front door in southern Vermont. The head was turning side to side, with the pinchers (?) open. It was about 1 1/2″ long. Attached are a few pictures.
Regards,
Jason Chastain

Hi Jason,
You have some good reason to call the Oil Beetle spooky. Another common name is Short Winged Blister Beetle, Meloe angusticollis. I believe you may have exaggerated the size, but the beetle is found in Southern Canada and the Northern United States. It is usually found in crop fields and meadows where it eats herbaceous foliage being particularly fond of potatoes. If disturbed, the beetle feigns death by falling on its side. The leg joints exude droplets of liquid that cause blisters.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

and something else I dont know what it is…
AWESOME site!
The other I have no clue what it is. It was taken on the shore of Lake Michigan at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore…there were hundreds of these hanging around. Any idea?
Josh in Detroit

Hi Josh,
One of our beetle experts Dan, says this looks to be one of the Meloid Blister Beetles. The genus is Epicauta, the species indeterminate. The family includes the European Beetle that is used to make the aphrodesiac Spanish Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination