Master Blister Beetle

Anza Borrego Bug
March 23, 2010
I came across this bug while hiking in the Anza Borrego State Park, near the Salton Sea, in Southern California in the afternoon of March 13th, 2010.It was about 100 yards from a blooming Ocotillo plant. I found it quite beautiful and would like it identified. Your help would be much appreciated.
Ashley Bacon
Anza Borrego State Park, Southern California

Master Blister Beetle

Hi Ashley,
Each spring, we get reports of sightings of Lytta magister, the Master Blister Beetle, from the Mojave and Colorado deserts in California and Arizona.  Though BugGuide reports them from Nevada and Utah as well, we have not received any reports from those states.  Your photo is the first one this year.  Blister Beetles are a diverse family with numerous species living in the desert areas of the Southwest.  Generally the adults are seen each year for a short period of time, usually in the spring when they feed on new plant growth.  The larvae are parasitic on grasshopper eggs or the eggs of solitary bees.

1 thought on “Master Blister Beetle”

  1. The species name for this blister beetle is Lytta magister. The are often seen in large aggregations on flowers in the desert in spring. They are common throughout the Mojave Desert.

    L. Saul


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