The iron cross blister beetle (Tegrodera aloga) is a blister beetle species of the Meloidae family native to North America ad Central America. Skinner gave these beetles their species name in 1903. This beetle belongs to the genus Tegrodera, and the beetles in this genus are called the iron cross soldier beetle and iron cross blister beetle. There are three officially described species in this genus-Tegrodera aloga, Tegrodera latecincta, and Tegrodera erosa. This genus belongs to the tribe Eupomphini, which consists of 20 recognized species within seven genera. The iron cross blister beetles have black bodies with red and bright yellow spots on their bodies. You can find these little creatures in a big group rather than a single one. The subfamily Meloinae has at least 330 recognized species. There are around 7,500 species of blister beetles across the world. Blister beetles or Meloidae family are called so because of the secretion of a blistering chemical agent called cantharidin, released when they feel threatened. Cantharidin is used by medical professionals to remove warts.
If these facts about the iron cross blister beetles were fun, then you need to check out these amazing facts about the jewel beetle and blister beetle.
Iron Cross Blister Beetle
What do they prey on?
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
How long are they?
0.55-1.02 in (14-26 mm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Black with red and yellow spots
What are their main threats?
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Plant debris, under stones, vegetables, crops, and agriculture plants
North America and Central America- Arizona, California, and Mexico
Iron Cross Blister Beetle Interesting Facts
What type of animal is an iron cross blister beetle?
The iron cross blister beetle (Tegrodera aloga) is a medium-sized blister beetle species of the order Coleoptera and phylum Arthropoda. This beetle secretes a blistering chemical agent called cantharidin, this agent is used to remove warts, tattoos, and cancer treatments. Few adult insects are nocturnal and more beetles are diurnal or have no cycle. These beetles are active in the spring. These species of blisters are social and bright-colored insects, so are evident.
What class of animal does an iron cross blister beetle belong to?
The iron cross blister beetle (Tegrodera aloga) belongs to the insect class of animals.
How many iron cross blister beetles are there in the world?
The iron cross blister beetle (Tegrodera aloga) population number in the world is not yet known.
Where does an iron cross blister beetle live?
The iron blister beetle is native to North America and Central America. They occupy the Sonoran desert, Arizona, Mexico, and California.
What is an iron cross blister beetle's habitat?
The habitat range of the iron cross blister beetle includes regions with lant debris, under stones, vegetables, crops, and agriculture plants. The native Eriastrum species are preferred hosts of these adult insects.
Who do iron cross blister beetles live with?
The iron cross blister beetle lives with their kind of species. This insect also migrates in groups.
How long does an iron cross blister beetles live?
These insects can live as long as three years and as short as 30 days.
How do they reproduce?
The iron cross blister insects have a hypermetamorphic life cycle. The female lays eggs in protected regions like under stones in summers. She lays around 3000-4000 eggs. The eggs hatch over the surface of the soil. The hatched larvae need grasshopper's egg pods. The larvae then stay as legless grub until they find eggs to feed on. These blister larvae are parasitic in nature, as they feed on eggs of grasshoppers and bees. The adults are highly active in spring that is from April-July. The life cycle of larvae and adults is complex as it involves different larval developments. The larval phase occurs in the winter and the pupal phase in spring. They remain in the pupae stage for two weeks and they emerge as adults in early spring. The larvae phase develops for a month, however, the last second stage takes up to 230 days to complete before they molt into the sixth phase in spring.
What is their conservation status?
The conservation status of Tegrodera aloga is Not Evaluated.
Iron Cross Blister Beetle Fun Facts
What do iron cross blister beetles look like?
Adult beetles have a cylindrical, long, and narrow-body with a wide head. The bright yellow and red spots on their black-colored body makes them evident and also similar to wasp body colors. The brightness of this coloration is because of the toxic chemical, cantharidin that they carry on their body. This coloration is called aposematism, which works as a warning signal to escape predators. Their heads are bright red and their antennae and legs are black.
How cute are they?
These blister beetles are vibrantly colored and are usually considered cute.
How do they communicate?
Iron cross beetles communicate through chemical release, sound, and vocalization.
How big is an iron cross blister beetle?
Adults measure up to 0.55-1.02 in (14-26 mm) in length. These beetles are half the size of black blister beetles.
How fast can iron cross blister beetles move?
The exact flight or running speed of these species is not known. The flight speed of these species is being studied and this is determined by wind speed.
How much does an iron cross blister beetle weigh?
The weight of these blister beetles is not known. However, they are considered to be bigger than weevils and carpet beetles.
What are the male and female names of the species?
There is no specific name given to male and female iron cross insects.
What would you call a baby iron cross blister beetle?
There is no specific name given to the baby iron cross blister beetle.
What do they eat?
Iron cross beetles feed on the herbivorous food source. They feed on soybean, alfalfa, potatoes, and flowers. However, the larvae feed on the eggs of bees and grasshoppers.
Are they poisonous?
Yes, they carry a toxic chemical called cantharidin. This iron cross blister beetle poisonous secretion is dangerous to humans as it causes skin blisters.
Would they make a good pet?
No, they would not make a good pet. The toxic chemical can be dangerous to humans, livestock, and pets. A blister beetle blister can be treated by washing it everyday with soapy water and applying topical steroid or antibiotic to prevent any unwanted infection.
Did you know...
These iron cross insects are attracted to light in the night.
Why are they called iron cross blister beetles?
Blister beetles (Meloidae family) are called so because of the secretion of a blistering chemical agent called cantharidin, released when they feel threatened. the name iron-cross refers to the cross-shaped dark markings on their wings
How to get rid of iron cross blister beetles?
You can use both chemical and organic solutions to get rid of these beetles. Make sure to check around the plants to spot them as early as possible before the population grows. When you spot these insects take them out of the plant immediately and wear gloves while hand picking. They need to be handled properly as their toxin can cause skin blisters. Management of weeds also can control the population of these beetles. The population of grasshoppers also needs to be managed. Garden sanitization is also needed as this will prevent breeding sites of iron cross blister beetle species. To prevent the contact of these beetles with plants you can use row or fabric covers. The most popular chemical solutions for blister beetle infestation is carbaryl and pyrethroids.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these burying beetle facts and rove beetle facts pages.
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