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Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Tegrodera aloga
(Tegrodera laticincta)


Photo © by Marc Borom

Photo contributed by Marc Borom.

Meloidae -- Blister Beetle Family

Normally these beetles emerge in large numbers in mid to late spring and move together in bands crawling or running across the ground. They feed on succulent leaves and flower petals. The larva stage is subterranean and likely is parasitic in nests of ground-nesting bees.

Iron Cross Beetle's conspicuous coloration is related to the fact that they carry cantharidin toxins that can interfer with the vertibrate 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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