Nemognatha Blister Beetle, California.

Some of the oddest blister beetles in western North America are in the genus Nemognatha.  Their mouthparts have become elongate to form a proboscis- a common trait among other groups of insects- but rare among the beetles.  They are commonly seen on flowers feeding on nectar.


Nemognatha with associated Notoxus beetles, Nevada.

photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS D60

ISO 100, 1/200 sec, f/13, flash diffused through tracing paper


  1. #1 James C. Trager
    March 28, 2009

    A proboscis? As in soldier beetles, or even more developed than this?

  2. #2 Kolby
    March 31, 2009

    Blister beetles – sweet! I just blogged about these guys twice this month. Good lookin’ photos, Alex.

  3. #3 chris scaparro
    May 31, 2009

    what else besides nectar do they eat? I hear they can destroy gardens.

  4. #4 Carl
    January 28, 2010

    Can’t remember if including a link kills a comment with WordPress/Akismet or not, but I’ll try. Link is to a photo of an Iron Cross Blister Beetle taken in Saguaro National Forest…

    Didn’t see any ICBB’s on your blog.

    I lived next to the park for almost a year and spent time unscientifically watching the various creatures there. Spent a fair bit of time looking at ants, there were several ant superhighways on my lane next to Jeremy Wash. I’m no scientist, just enjoyed watching their apparently purposeful movement and co-operative positioning.

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