What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bee? Beetle? in Illinois
Hi there! I stumbled across your website while looking for something about this insect. I saw it on a flower (the picture included) and thought it was a beetle. I was out collecting some flowers this afternoon and saw a whole bunch of them on some blanket flowers. I looked closer and noticed some stripes underneath, looking a lot like a bee. The striped abdomen is hidden in this picture. It’s under the beetle-looking yellow and black part. I live near Rockford, IL. Any help you can give me would be very welcome. Thanks!

Hi Katherine,
Your beetle is a Pennsylvania Leatherwing, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus, also known as the Goldenrod Soldier Beetle. It is commonly found in the fall in the eastern US on flowers gathering pollen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Illinois

2 Responses to Pennsylvania Leatherwing

  1. Paulette says:

    I found these guys all over my Joe Pye weed this year — thousands of them, most of them mating. They don’t seem to be hurting anything, so I just hand-picked them into soapy water, just in case they were harmful. Have never seen them before this year. I’m in Northeast/North central Iowa. Anything else you know about them?

    • bugman says:

      They are a beneficial species and you should not be killing them with soapy water. According to BugGuide: “Adult: pollen and nectar of fall flowers, esp. goldenrod (Solidago)(2); larvae feed on locust eggs, insect larvae, cucumber beetles, and other Diabrotica spp.”

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