Red Soldier Beetle?
Location: Canada, July, mostly in warm weather
July 10, 2011 7:42 pm
Hi!
Found your site when trying to ID a beetle I’ve been seeing on my Potentilla shrubs; they don’t really venture anywhere else. After looking around your site I thought they looked the most like ”Common Red Soldier Beetles” but with a wider black strip. However your site seems to indicate that those beetles are carnivorous and the ones I’ve seen, which I’ve been observing for days, seem to be after nectar while ignoring other insects. It was late and getting dark when I realized I should take a picture for you… sorry!
P.S. Thanks for your ”unnecessary carnage” tag… I’ve been trying to convince people not to go around squashing animals forever. -_-
Signature: Lisa Sky

Common Red Soldier Beetle

Dear Lisa,
We agree that this is a Common Red Soldier Beetle,
Rhagonycha fulva, and according to BugGuide:  “adults feed on small insects that visit flowers.”  On the family page for Cantharidae, BugGuide notes that:  “Adults eat nectar, pollen, other insects.”  Perhaps there is not complete information on the species page.  The Common Red Soldier Beetle is a species introduced from Europe.

Location: Canada

3 Responses to Common Red Soldier Beetle

  1. Tony says:

    I wish I had found your site earlier!

  2. Reg says:

    I have numerous of these beetles on my young white spruce…are they sucking the spruce sap? I squeeze them between my fingers until they die…sometimes squeeze two attached – guess they die happy…do I need to be concerned? Should I use the malathion?

    • Plant Police says:

      They’re not hurting your spruce as they are a beneficial insect, likely eating the aphids on your spruce tree. Don’t spray them, let them live.

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