Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Beetles"
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Subject: Beetle orgy on goldenrod!
Location: Schenectady, NY
August 27, 2016 11:46 am
Hello WhatsThatBug,
I thought you’d enjoy this shot of no less than four pairs of mating beetles on the same goldenrod plant! There were actually at least two other pairs that I didn’t get in the shot, so clearly this plant is the place for looooove. I think they are Goldenrod Soldier Beetles.
I spotted them at a local park that has a perfect pond for dragonflies. This stand of goldenrod grows alongside a tiny stream that runs through the grass in an open area, and as you can imagine it is a very popular spot for all kinds of insects, including a huge variety of bees and wasps. I’ll need to go back with extra batteries in my camera to see what else I can photograph!
Signature: Susan B.

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Dear Susan,
Your lurid images of mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles,
Chauliognathus pensylvanicus, are a wonderful addition to our Bug Love tag.  Many years ago we created a Milkweed Meadow tag because there is such a diverse group of insects, including the Monarch Butterfly, that depend upon milkweed for survival, and there are many other insects that are attracted to the nectar rich blossoms.  At that time, we had planned a companion plant community tag called the Goldenrod Meadow because similar to milkweed, goldenrod is also associated with a very diverse insect community.  We are taking the opportunity to launch our Goldenrod Meadow tag with your wonderful submission, and now we will have to go back through our archives to tag appropriate postings from the past.  When you return to the goldenrod patch with extra batteries, please send us any images that you feel will be of interest to our readership. 

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  For Bug Love
Location:  sorry… Magdalen Hill
August 18, 2016
For Bug Love
http://butterfly-conservation.org/2401-1937/magdalen-hill-down-hampshire.html
Clare

Mating Soldier Beetles

Mating Soldier Beetles

Dear Clare,
These are mating Soldier Beetles, and there is not a high enough resolution in your image to be certain of the species.  We located several similar looking species on Nature Spot, and regarding the species
Cantharis cryptica, Nature Spot indicates:  “7 to 8.5 mm. An orange/brown beetle with black rings above the ‘knees’ and all-yellow palps. There are several similar species and precise identification may need detailed examination.”  Another possible species is Cantharis rufa, and Nature Spot indicates:  “Length 9 – 11 mm. This soldier beetle is largely all orange but sometimes there is a black mark on the pronotum which is quite square looking and doesn’t reach to the front border (extending just over half way). The legs may be be pale or dark but with contrasting ‘knees’ in both cases.  Similar Species:  This species is larger than the similar Cantharis cryptica and C. pallida – both of which are 7-8mm in length. Rhagonycha translucida lacks the blacks knees and has a pronotum that narrows towards the head.”  Of the similar looking Cantharis pallida, Nature Spot indicates:  “They are frequent visitors to thistles and umbelliferous flowers, where they probably prey on other flower-feeding insects.”  That is a thistle in your image.  Finally, we could not rule out the larger Common Red Soldier Beetle, Rhagonycha fulva, and Nature Spot states:  “A very common beetle throughout most of Britain.”  After all that, we hope a family identification will suffice.

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Subject: Identification of Beetle
Location: Bangalore, India
July 24, 2016 9:05 am
Hi……Am Girish Ananthamurthy from Bangalore, India…today i.e. 24th July 2016 i have photographed this small beetle in the famous Lal Bagh Garden located in Bangalore. am trying to identify this little beetle but unable to get any correct information……in the process of my search came across your website and thought of requesting you to please help me identify this beetle . Hope i can get an answer and thanking you in anticipation
Signature: Girish Ananthamurthy

Beetle: Superfamily Elateroidea

Beetle: Superfamily Elateroidea

Dear Girish,
Our three best guesses for your Beetle’s family are Soldier Beetle family Cantharidae, Net-Winged Beetle family Lycidae or Firefly Beetle family Lampyridae.  Interestingly, all three families are in the same superfamily Elateroidea.  It looks similar to the Red Soldier Beetle,
Rhagonycha fulva, a species native to Eurasia, introduced into North America and pictured on Focusing on Wildlife.

Dear sir….thank you so much….i also found similarity with red soldier beetle but was confused as i read that its not native to India….then how come its founs here ao asked for identification..thank you again

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Subject: what kind of beetle is this?
Location: Vancouver wa
July 11, 2016 7:42 am
Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with the identification of this beetle….. my wife, son and I where in a walk the other day in a field at the Vancouver wa. Wild life refuge. I was looking at a cluster of flowers (image 1) when I seen a couple of little black bugs crawling threw it. I flipped it over and found two little orangish beetles that where mating (image 2-3) I’ve never seen these little guys before and can not seem to find them on Google or any of the other sites I use for identification.
Signature: Thank you for your time, James Roberson

Mating Hogweed Bonking Beetles

Mating Hogweed Bonking Beetles

Dear James,
These mating Soldier Beetles are living up to their name Hogweed Bonking Beetles.  They are an introduced species from Eurasia and they are predators.  The dark tips of the wings are an identifying feature.

Lol, yeah I’d defiantly say that they are… Thank you for your help and quick response. I have found your site very useful many times and this is another good example.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Feeding with the bumbles
Location: Seattle, WA
July 8, 2016 7:05 am
This little red guy loves to hover around my little lime hydrangeas. They can fly, albeit slowly, even next to the bumbles that devour my lavender that lives next to my hydrandea. I would love to know what they are and if/how they are beneficial to my garden.
Signature: PNWbugardener

Hogweed Bonking Beetles

Hogweed Bonking Beetles

Dear PNWbugardener,
These are Soldier Beetles in the family Cantharidae, and we believe we have correctly identified them as
 Rhagonycha fulva thanks to this BugGuide image which shows the black tipped wings.  According to BugGuide:  “adults often found on flowerheads of herbaceous plants during the day” where “adults feed on small insects that visit flowers; larvae feed on snails, slugs, and ground-dwelling insects.”  BugGuide also notes it is “native to Eurasia; introduced to North America some time ago” and “well-established in British Columbia and Quebec.”  Despite not being a native species, all indications are that this is a beneficial insect in your garden.  Finally, we are amused that BugGuide notes that its common name is Hogweed Bonking Beetle.

Hogweed Bonking Beetles

Hogweed Bonking Beetles

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Firefly just reaching adulthood?
Location: Southeast Michigan
May 18, 2016 9:06 pm
Hi, i took this photo on May 17, 2016. It was on a white nut grass bloom (cyperus rotundus) in my backyard. I live in Taylor, MI. There were a couple different kinds of bees on these flowers also.
I couldnt find anything similar in my Kaufman’s insect guide.
Anyway, if you could help me that would be wonderful. If not, I understand. Have a wonderful day :-).
Signature: Shelly L.

Soldier Beetle

Deformed Two Lined Leatherwing

Hi Shelly,
Because this Soldier Beetle in the family Cantharidae is either newly metamorphosed, or it has been injured or it is just deformed, it will be difficult to identify in most field guides.  We believe it is
Atalantycha bilineata based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide, it is called a Two Lined Leatherwing and its habitat is “hardwood and pine forests; adults like the flowers of Red Haw, Viburnum rufidulum.

Thank you so much!!! My love of bugs is only about 10 years old. I used to fear them but then slowly began to find them incredibly interesting which eventually turned into finding them wonderful.
I also wanted to mention that I was just on your firefly page and clicked an ad for Nume curling irons. The ad on the page had a promo code, shop24 which was supposed to yield a significant discount. When I went to check out it said the code had expired. I’m not really looking for you to resolve this issue :-), I just thought you guys should know since they advertise on your site that there’s a small possibility they might not be on the up and up. Of course, this could’ve simply been a clerical error. Just an FYI.
Anyway, thank you so much again. You have absolutely made my day! :-)
Shelly

Thanks for the information Shelly.  We do not micromanage the advertising on our site which is run by Google.  We generate a small amount of revenue when folks who visit our site click on the ads.  Google uses an algorithm to determine which advertisers are relevant to both our site content, and the online browsing history of your own computer.  Very complicated and we don’t really understand it all, but again, the advertisers are beyond our control.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination