Desert Spider Beetle or Inflated Beetle

Whats that bug?
Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 1:41 PM
Please identify and/or help me identify the insect in the attached image? I’m thinking some sort of beetle?
what are my options?
mecca ca

Inflated Beetle
Inflated Beetle

Hi Gus,
This is a Desert Spider Beetle in the genus Cysteodemus.  We would further identify it as an Inflated Beetle, Cysteodemus armatus.  This species is found in California, Arizona and Nevada in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts.  You can see more images and read about the fascinating life cycle on BugGuide which indicates the “Larvae have been found in subterranean nests of solitary bees.”  The Inflated Beetle is a Blister Beetle that gets its common name because of the air space under the fused elytra or wing covers.  This air space is thought to act as insulation in the cold desert nights.

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