Subject: Feeding with the bumbles
Location: Seattle, WA
July 8, 2016 7:05 am
This little red guy loves to hover around my little lime hydrangeas. They can fly, albeit slowly, even next to the bumbles that devour my lavender that lives next to my hydrandea. I would love to know what they are and if/how they are beneficial to my garden.
These are Soldier Beetles in the family Cantharidae, and we believe we have correctly identified them as Rhagonycha fulva thanks to this BugGuide image which shows the black tipped wings. According to BugGuide: “adults often found on flowerheads of herbaceous plants during the day” where “adults feed on small insects that visit flowers; larvae feed on snails, slugs, and ground-dwelling insects.” BugGuide also notes it is “native to Eurasia; introduced to North America some time ago” and “well-established in British Columbia and Quebec.” Despite not being a native species, all indications are that this is a beneficial insect in your garden. Finally, we are amused that BugGuide notes that its common name is Hogweed Bonking Beetle.