Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Beetles"
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Subject: On my tickseed plants?
Location: North pittsburgh pa
August 20, 2014 1:42 pm
I just noticed these on my tickseeds today…august 20… I love in southwestern pa. Can you please identify ?
Signature: Mike

Goldenrod Soldier Beetles Mating

Goldenrod Soldier Beetles Mating

Hi Mike,
As the common name Goldenrod Soldier Beetle implies, this species feeds on the pollen of goldenrod and other fall blossoms that produce copious amounts of pollen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Household beetle in Cleveland
Location: Cleveland, OH
June 2, 2014 8:24 pm
We have found several of these guys crawling in one end of our house over the past couple of weeks. Some of them will fly. They look like longhorn beetles but I’ve never seen one in person. Am I correct?
Thanks!
Signature: Phil

Soldier Beetle

Soldier Beetle

Dear Phil,
This is some species of Soldier Beetle, perhaps
Cantharis livida pictured on BugGuide, or Cantharis rufa, also pictured on BugGuide, or a closely related species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect from Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica
January 3, 2014 7:08 pm
Dear Bugman,
I photographed this guy in Costa Rica, at about 1000 m elevation. Can you help me to identify it? Thank you!
Signature: Frank

Unknown Beetle

Deformed Soldier Beetle

Hi Frank,
Depending upon how specific you would like our answer to be, we may or may not have an answer for you.  This is a Beetle, a member of the insect order Coleoptera, the largest group of insects in the world.  Beyond that, we cannot be certain.  It appears that this beetle has deformed elytra, and we are not certain if that is a characteristic of this particular species, or if this is a deformed individual that did not develop correctly.  We are favoring the latter possibility, which might greatly complicate its identification if it does not resemble other members of its species due to the deformity.  It also appears to be a soft bodied beetle, without the hard elytra or wing covers that is a characteristic of most beetles.  We are guessing this individual is likely in the superfamily Elateroidea.  It resembles the Net-Winged Beetles in the family Lycidae and you can compare your specimen to this Golden Net-Wing pictured on BugGuide. as an example of how a “typical” family member looks.  The light tip on the abdomen might suggest bioluminescence and could mean your beetle is a Firefly in the family Lampyridae.  Your beetle also shares some characteristics of the Soldier Beetles in the family Cantharidae.  There is much more diversity in the tropics and there are also many poorly documented species as well as undocumented species in the tropics.  Our main source of information is the internet, and many organisms are poorly represented on the internet.  We tried a web search of “red beetle Costa Rica” and most of the images produced by google were not even beetles.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a more specific answer for you.

Eric Eaton provides an identification
Daniel:
Yes, it is a soldier beetle, family Cantharidae.
Eric

Do you agree it is either deformed or hasn’t had the wings fully expand after metamorphosis?

Yes, probably a bad molt.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Catalina Island bug- what is this?
Location: Catalina Island, CA- west beach
May 6, 2013 7:47 pm
My son and I just came back from an Indian Guides campout on Catalina Island. My son found an insect on the beach that he loved. Broke his heart to put it back on the sand. This week is insect week at his school and he has to pick an insect to report on. We would love to use the one from Catalina but we have no idea what it is. Help Please.
Signature: Curious Dad

Brown Leatherwing

Brown Leatherwing

Dear Curious Dad,
Normally as the most commonly liked posting on our site states, What’s That Bug? will not do your Child’s Homework, but we liked the earnestness of your request, so we will point you in the right direction, and let you do the research.  This is a Brown Leatherwing,
Pacificanthia consors, and it is a common Southern California sighting in May because this Soldier Beetle is often attracted to lights.  We are quite fond of this predatory species since we are located in Southern California in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Mount Washington, so there are numerous postings on our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird bug I never seen before
Location: San Diego, CA
May 3, 2013 9:37 pm
Dear Sir,
My name is Annabelle and I am 6 years old. Me, my 2 year old brother Hayden, and my cat Fanta found this bug crawling on the wall in my house. It took a while for me and my Daddy to catch him without hurting it. He sure was squirmy. He was tall like a pencil and as long as the size of a quarter. He also liked to play dead when we were taking pictures of him. But boy did he bounce back to his wild ways when we went to set him free.
Signature: Annabelle, Hayden, and Fanta

Brown Leatherwing

Brown Leatherwing

Dear Annabelle, Hayden and Fanta,
My you write well for a six year old.  This is a Brown Leatherwing,
Pacificanthia consors, a species of Soldier Beetle.  Brown Leatherwings are beneficial insects that prey upon smaller creatures in the garden.  They often attract attention along the west coast when they are drawn to lights in May.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug and should i be worried???
Location: Valley Center, California
April 29, 2013 10:32 pm
Hi Bugman,
My name is Nathan and these weird bugs have recently entered my house. I live in Valley Center, California ( a couple miles north of San Diego). These bugs have red heads, dark brown (maybe black) bodies, and wings. My little brother is scared of them and i just want to make sure he (and the rest of my family) are in no danger. Thank you for the help!!!
Signature: Nathan Reeve

Brown Leatherwing

Brown Leatherwing

Hi Nathan,
Thanks for sending in this photo.  We have been neglecting taking a photo of the Brown Leatherwings that are attracted to our own porch light each spring.  The Brown Leatherwing,
Pacificanthia consors, is a west coast species that is considered beneficial.  Here is what Charles Hogue wrote of the Brown Leatherwing in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin in our second edition from 1993:  “Adults frequently come to porch lights in the late spring (April to May).  They give off a strong unpleasant musty odor when handled or crushed and may also exude a yellow fluid.  Little else is known of the habits of the adults, and the early stages remain undescribed.  Both are probably ground dwellers that live in plant litter and prey on other insects.”  They pose no danger to you or your family.  Brown Leatherwings appear each spring and remain for approximately six weeks.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination