If you were a beetle you wouldn’t think that looking like a blue raspberry in a desert is a recipe for evolutionary success. But this blister beetle—with a name to match its unwieldy shape, Cysteodemus wislizeni—is widespread and not uncommon in the deserts of New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. Its abdomen is so heavy that it leaves a furrow in the sand when it walks around, and as a blister beetle, it tastes ugly to predators. Look out when you are in southeastern Colorado. While nobody has found this species in our state yet, it is known from New Mexico’s Colfax County, just 17 miles south of Colorado’s Las Animas County. It might be a Colorado native after all.
Frank-Thorsten Krell, PhD
Senior Curator of Entomology
Jeffrey T. Stephenson
Andrew Doll, MS
Zoology Assistant Collections Manager