Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Tegrodera aloga
(Tegrodera laticincta)

Photo © by Marc Borom

Photo contributed by Marc Borom.

Meloidae -- Blister Beetle Family

These beetles may emerge in mid to late spring, sometimes large numbers, and move together in bands crawling or running across the ground. They feed on succulent leaves and flower petals. The larval stages are poorly known, but are subterranean and likely parasitic in nests of ground-nesting bees or grasshoppers.

Iron Cross Beetle's conspicuous coloration is related to the fact that they carry cantharidin toxins that can interfere with the vertebrate nervous system - i.e. it is an aposemtic warning. In case you were wondering, you should not eat these insects.

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Photo © by Mike Plagens

This large emergence of iron cross beetles was photographed in southwestern Yavapai Co., Arizona at Hassayampa Box.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 15 June 2003,
updated 8 Aug. 2018.