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.

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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