Taken in Marana Az with a Canon Powershot SX10IS

Each spring in April, brightly colored beetles appear in the Sonoran Desert to seek and find proper hosts for their offspring. This is one insect people can’t miss because they appear in huge populations and have a brilliant red head and pronitum, contrasting with mottled yellow slytra marked be a strong black cross. The front looks ant-like and the rear beetle-like. Sometimes as these beetles are running over the hot landscape, they raise their wings and display their black abdomen marked with bright red stripes, making them seem like wasps.

These beetles have a product called cantharidin in their blood, a potential blistering agent, thus the common name. When disturbed their leg joints ooze blood that to a predator may taste bad or be painful. To a human, it may cause mild to severe blistering. Their bright colors advertise this defense.

Iron Cross Blister beetles emerge in April from digger bee nest, usually in loose soils. They feed on spring annuals starting about 11AM to 5PM. After mating, females seek palo verde trees in bud stage, lay eggs at the base of the buds, and then die. The eggs and buds develop together, eggs hatching when the flower opens. Larvae wait in the flowers for the native bees to arrive, hitch a ride back to the nest, where they satay, feeding on the juvenile bee and its provisions. They pupate in the nest and wait for the next spring to emerge as adults


sonoran desert, blister beetle, iron cross blister beetle, collage, spring, arizona, insect, bug, beetle, kimberly chadwick

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My goal is to get my name out there among the vast ocean of Natural photographers. To be known for my skill with a Point & Shoot~

My images are not photo shopped. They have only been adjusted with basic sharpening, contrasting & saturation techniques. I believe that in order to appreciate Nature, you have to capture it as it is, naturally.

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  • DonnaMoore
    DonnaMooreabout 4 years ago

    What a great collage. Really nice close-up, considering I would be running the other way.

  • LOL, trust me, it was tough to keep one eye on the ground and focus with the other! They are beautiful and I just couldn’t resist! Thank you Donna!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47about 4 years ago

    Magnificent boxes of beetles…. Well done!

  • Thank you darlin!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • gabbielizzie
    gabbielizzieabout 4 years ago

    I liked this so much… Guess what?


  • WOW, thank you so much! What a great surprise to come home to!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Marie Van Schie
    Marie Van Schieabout 4 years ago

    WOW! Love your collage!

  • Thank you so very much for the visit and the great comment Marie! Much appreciated~☺

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Vicki Pelham
    Vicki Pelhamabout 4 years ago

    Well done, lovely work!

  • Thank you so very much Vicki, I am shocked to get such a response with it!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Judy Grant
    Judy Grantabout 4 years ago

    WOW!! Never seen these guys! Awesome collage !

  • You would have to stick around for a while longer my friend to see these guys. Thank you so much!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • DigitallyStill
    DigitallyStillabout 4 years ago

    Now how interesting is that… wonderfully documented with a magnificent collage! Well done Kimberly!!!


  • Francine, I appreciate your constant support M’am, thank you !

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • aussiedi
    aussiediabout 4 years ago

    excellent macro collage

  • I so very appreciate the acknowledgment! Thank you!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Judith Hayes
    Judith Hayesabout 4 years ago

    Nice! Congrats on your feature…

  • Many thanks Judith, I appreciate you taking the time to peek~☺

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerabout 4 years ago

    Congratulations on your features of this collage! Well done.

  • Aww, thank you Trish. It was quite the surprise indeed!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

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