It will take a visit to southwestern California to find this bold little Blister Beetle.
At home in only a few counties in California, this species of Blister Beetle is less common among its kin. Like other beetles in the Meloidae family, it can secrete a chemical that can burn skin and generate blisters if threatened. The red-orange head and pronotum and black body offer familiar warning colors to people and predators alike. Look for them on flowers in fields, gardens, and on trails.
Scientific Name: Lytta aeneipennis
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 12mm (0.20in to 0.47in)
Colors: black; red; orange
Descriptors: red head; red neck; burning; chemical; spray; painful; blister; flying; flower; firefly
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.