Desert Spider Beetle

Subject: Arizona bug
Location: Lake Havasu City, Arizona
March 7, 2016 4:50 pm
I work for a newspaper and a reader sent in a pic of this bug. What the heck is it??
Signature: Pam in Havasu

Desert Spider Beetle
Desert Spider Beetle

Dear Pam in Havasu,
This incredible insect is a Desert Spider Beetle or Inflated Beetle,
Cysteodemus armatus,  a Blister Beetle species that is limited to the Colorado and Mojave Deserts in the states of California, Nevada and Arizona.  According to BugGuide:  “Recorded food plants of adults: most commonly Larrea tridentata, but also a number of other plants (Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus, Chaenactis, Geraea canescens, Palafoxia arida, Gilia, Loeseliastrum matthewsii, Tiquilia). While creosote leaves are dependable even in the driest of years, other plants are likely preferred when available.”

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