Subject: two-spotted insect
Location: northeastern Illinois
October 29, 2012 5:02 pm
I found this colorful fellow on a thistle blossom along with a bumblebee that I noticed first. I tried some self ID using your website but gave up after a couple of hours because I frankly don’t know the correct section to look through. I took a side view and a top view to help identify it.
Signature: unintentional entomologist
Dear unintentional entomologist,
The Pennsylvania Leatherwing or Goldenrod Soldier Beetle is frequently associated with goldenrod, a common autumn bloom, and we are surprised that your photo is the first submission this year. Typically, we begin to have identification requests for Pennsylvania Leatherwings beginning in September.
Actually, I took this picture on September 3, but I took a couple of hour’s worth of photos that day including ducks, egrets and blue herons which were having great success wading and fishing in a shallow section of a rain-depleted Fox River. Consequently, I did not get around to processing the macro-lens photos from along the river bank until October 27th. There were some pictures of goldenrod in the group, but none had this beetle in it.
I guess I still would have been your first submission this year, but at least it would have been within your expected time frame.