Subject:  Black beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwest New Mexico
Date: 09/21/2021
Time: 11:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found these insects while hiking in the Gila National Forest, Saddle Rock Canyon; 10 miles NW of Silver City. There were hundreds of them on the desert willows – many were mating on the trees. I apologize for the fuzzy image. I hope it’s clear enough for an identification.
How you want your letter signed:  Karen Nakakihara

Black Blister Beetle

Dear Karen,
This is a Black Blister Beetle,
Epicauta pensylvanica, and like many Blister Beetles, they appear seasonally in great numbers for a short period of time each year, with some years seeing far greater numbers.  According to BugGuide:  “Associated with Asteraceae, such as goldenrods and asters. May damage crops, such as beets, potatoes, tomatoes.”  The Black Blister Beetle is pictured on the New Mexico State University website.

Location: New Mexico

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