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Orange Beetles with Black Spots - Cissites auriculata

Orange Beetles with Black Spots - Cissites auriculata
McAllen, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA
February 19, 2009
I saw two of these beetles (?)together on a bush in my back yard. They are about an inch long and are very unconcerned with close human approach. They have pinchers on the front. They are a very vivid orange color. It looks to me as though they have been removing the bark from this bush. I looked all around for more of these guys but they seemed to be the only two. I've never seen this type of beetle before in the Rio Grande Valley. What is it?

2-20: Thanks to the those you who posted comments. Today, the beetles are still in approximately the same location, engaged in the same activity---quite happily it appears! Here are a couple of additional pictures (even though these guys have been identified). One shows what I believe to be a large cluster of eggs just below the beetles on the trunk of the bush, the other shows one of the two holes on the trunk---could this be a bee hole, since these "large ears" are known to be parasitic on certain bees? I don't see any bee activity anywhere near or around the holes. Also, the beetles still appear to me to be eating the bark off the trunk...what do you think?

Images of this individual: tag all
Orange Beetles with Black Spots - Cissites auriculata Orange Beetles with Black Spots - Cissites auriculata Orange Beetles with Black Spots - Cissites auriculata Orange Beetles with Black Spots - Cissites auriculata

Cissites auriculata
I took a picture of one of these in my backyard yesterday. Anyone know how to post it? Thanks!

cory --
please don't stop -- your BugGuide debut was a blast, thanks! I want to see more of your insect photos. =v=

Cissites Auriculata
Hi V, Thanks for your comment (coincidentally, I call my husband V too). Now I have officially adopted these critters---checking the first thing in the morning to see if they're still there, then periodically during the day. They move around on the trunk some, but not much and they never get farther than an inch apart. I know it's wrong to ascribe human traits to insects,but they do appear to be a devoted couple! There are a lot of insects around here, but none of them are anywhere near as striking as these "beets". I'll be sure to get more photos if they do anything else noteworthy...

a little similar here.

Large Eared Blister Beetle
Thanks for your identification of this beetle. I noticed more details today, such as two holes in the trunk of the bush (bees?) and what appears to be a cluster of eggs in the vicinity of the beetles. I wanted to post pictures of these, but the website doesn't seem to want to accept them, even though I'm using web-sizing. Is there some other place on the site where I can post the pictures?

Go to ID Request and start a new submission.

Large Eared Blister Beetle
Thanks but "never mind". It wasn't the website's fault that I couldn't upload after all, but my own mistake! The two additional pictures are shown above.

i believe you've nailed it --thanks!
so this is Cissites auriculata (Champion, 1892)
'Biologia Centrali-Americana' shows a nice suggestive pic of the male of the same sp.
(for some reason, though, Am. Beetles II:527 say Cissites includes "2 spp., from ce.Mexico into S.America...")

Yes, Cissites auriculata (Cha
Yes, Cissites auriculata (Champion, 1892), the Large Eared Blister Beetle.

Cissites auriculata
John Pinto det. His comment: "This probably is only the 2nd record from Texas (& the USA). Lewis recorded the species from the Chisos Mts. in 2004 (Coleop. Bull. 58: 635). The genus is known to parasitize Xylocopa"

wow! sensational couple -- thanks for sharing!
they are blister beetles (family Meloidae), but i can't tell you more --yet (other than you've got really lucky and made fine photos)

Wow, seconded!
What an exotic creature!

big eared blister beetle
I captured a large example of the blister beetle in Brownsville Texas today June 21,2014 on an old dead wood stump in the neighbors yard at the Valley International Country Club. What should I do with it?

must be something in the Nemognathini

Pyrota is my guess.
Reminds me much more of Pyrota, but I'm not terribly familiar with Texas fauna....

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