Texas Beetle Information

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 Red-margined Blister Beetle

Pyrota tenuicostatis (Dugès, 1869)

Family Meloidae, Subfamily Meloinae, Tribe Cerocomini

cf. P. insulata, P. palpalis

Red-margined Blister Beetle - Pyrota tenuicostatis (Dugès, 1869)

Goliad County, Texas
June 2005 (Lee Elliot & Bill Carr)

Then we looked up and saw literally clouds of these beetles flying through the air and aggregating on trees in the area.
I would say that there were 10,000 or more individuals in an area of a couple of acres.

Texas County Records for Pyrota tenuicostatis

Red-margined Blister Beetle - Pyrota tenuicostatis (Dugès, 1869)

County Record Source: E.G. Riley, Dec. 2005

Range: Central Texas south to Mexico (Blackwelder, 1946).


Adults emerge in late May and June and feed on leaves but are especially attracted to flowers where they feed on nectar and pollen. They gather in groups, so large numbers can occur in concentrated clusters in a field.

Similar Species: 

There are 40 species of Pyrota restricted to the New World, about 30 in Nearctic.

Texas Taxa:

Pyrota akhurstiana Horn 
Pyrota bilineata
Pyrota concinna
Pyrota deceptiva
Pyrota discoidea
Pyrota fasciata
Pyrota insulata
Pyrota invita
Pyrota lineata texana
Pyrota mylabrina
Pyrota palpalis
Pyrota perversa
Pyrota plagiata
Pyrota postica
Pyrota punctata
Pyrota riherdi
Pyrota tenuicostatis
Pyrota victoria Dillon  


Blister Beetles - Bart Drees & John Jackman, 1999.
Blister Beetles - Chris Sansone & Allen Knutson, 2002.
Blister Beetles - Featured Creatures - Richard B. Selander & Thomas R. Fasulo, 2003.

Etymology: Pyrota tenuicostatis (Dugès, 1869)

pyro, (G). Fire; wheat
tenu, -i (L). Thin, slender
cost, =a (L). A rib

Biology: Eugenio Dugès (1826-1895) - Mexican entomologist of French origin. Namesake of entomological journal, Dugeusiana.


Arnett, R.H., Jr., M.C. Thomas, P.E. Skelley & J.H. Frank. (editors). 2002. American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea. CRC Press. 861 pp.

Blackwelder, R.E., 1946. Checklist of the Coleopterous insects of Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and South America, part 4. Smithsonian Institution US Natural History Museum Bulletin 185, Parts 1-6. 1492 pp.

Borror, D.J. 1960. Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms. National Press Books, Palo Alto. v + 134 pp.

Brown, W.D., R. Standford. 1992. Male mating tactics in a blister beetle (Coleoptera: Meloidae) vary with female quality. Canadian Journal of Zoology 70:1652–1655.

Champion, G.C. 1889-1893. Insecta. Coleoptera. Heteromera (part). In: F.D. Godman & O. Salvin (editors). Biologia Centrali-Americana: or, contributions to the knowledge of the fauna and flora of Mexico and Central America. Taylor & Francis, London. 4(2): x + 494 pp., Tab. 20

Dillon, L.S. 1952. The Meloidae (Coleoptera) of Texas. American Midland Naturalist, 48(2): 330-420.

Drees, B.M. & J. Jackman. 1999. Field Guide to Texas Insects. Taylor Trade Publishing, Lanham, MD. 376 pp.

Pinto, J.D. & M.A. Bologna. 1999. The New World genera of Meloidae (Coleoptera): a key and synopsis. Journal of Natural History 33: 569-620.

Selander, R.B. 1983. A revision of the genus Pyrota. IV. The Tenuicostatis group (Coleoptera, Meloidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 56 (1): 1-19.

White. R.E. 1983. A Field Guide to the Beetles of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 368 pp.

Zaragoza C., S. 1999. Eugenio Dugés: un precursor de la entomología en México. Dugesiana 6: 1-26.

14 Jun 2008  © Mike Quinn / mike.quinn@tpwd.state.tx.us / Texas Entomology / Texas Beetle Information