Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Beetles"
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Subject: Which bug is this please
Location: East Peckham, Kent, TN12 5DP
July 7, 2017 9:33 am
Please could you identify this bug. Found on Cloud trees.
It is around 1cm, with an orange body similar style to a wasp with lines on body. Looks 4 legged, and flies. Wings are more red/brown with a black tip. Two long antennae on the head.
Many Thanks
Signature: Anna

Common Red Soldier Beetle

Dear Anna,
We are pretty confident we have correctly identified your Common Red Soldier Beetle,
Rhagonycha fulva, thanks to Nature Spot where it states:  “Often seen on umbelifer flowers, such as Hogweed and Cow Parsley” and “They are predatory on other insects visiting the flower they are resting on but also eat nectar and pollen.”  According to BugGuide:  “well-established in British Columbia and Quebec [Pat Bouchard]; recently recorded in Ontario from BugGuide photos here and here  native to Eurasia; introduced to North America some time ago.”

Common Red Soldier Beetle

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Subject: Big found!!!
Location: Norwich
March 30, 2017 3:42 pm
Please help found three of these in my house in the last week and have a very young baby so worried invade they carry bugs or bite
Signature: Maria

Soldier Beetle

This beetle is not a threat to your baby.

Thankyou, what type of beetle is it??

Dear Maria,
Your initial request to us did not include an identification request.  It seemed mostly a desperate “stream of consciousness” plea, without punctuation, for assurance that your child would not be threatened.  This appears to be a Soldier Beetle in the family Cantharidae, and we found what appears to be your species on UK Safari where it is identified as
Rhagonycha fulva and described as “one of several similar looking beetles which go under the general name of Soldier Beetles or Sailor Beetles.  Soldier beetles have narrow bodies and long antennae. This particular species has brown wing casings with black tips.  They are often seen in large numbers in June and July on flower heads of cow parsley and hogweed. It’s quite rare to see them singly. More often they are seen as mating pairs, earning them the nickname of ‘bonking beetles‘.”  According to The WCG:  “Widely distributed and common throughout England and Wales although more local in the north and southern Scotland.”  Soldier Beetles are beneficial predators that feed on small insects.  From what we have read, this seems to be quite early for this particular species.  Has your weather been unseasonably warm?

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Subject: Bug ID
Location: Zambia
January 26, 2017 11:52 pm
Hi. I am a farmer in Zambia, Central Africa, and have noticed a lot of these bugs on my sorghum crop. They are not damaging the crop but I am hoping that maybe they are predatory and maybe feeding on either the yellow cane aphids or fall army worm eggs/larvae. Any help would be appreciated. We are in our mid summer wet season.
Thanks
Signature: Adrian

Mating Soldier Beetles

Dear Adrian,
We believe these are Soldier Beetles in the family Cantharidae.  This posting on iSpot looks like a very good visual match, but it is only identified to the family level.  Of the family members, BugGuide states:  “Adults eat nectar, pollen, other insects; larvae are fluid-feeding predators, feed on insect eggs and larvae” so we are pleased to inform you that this is a beneficial species and you have no cause to worry about your crop. 

Soldier Beetle

Thanks for the quick response, these most certainly look like soldier beetles. Now you have narrowed it down for me I will do a bit more research into them and try and figure out exactly which one it is, will keep you posted.
Thanks
A.Bignell
Mazabuka
Zambia

Soldier Beetle

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Subject: Beetle
Location: Moyobamba area Peru
January 15, 2017 4:07 am
Please could you help ID this beetle we saw at Waqanki Lodge, Moyobamba, Peru – September 2016? Thank you
Signature: Lynne Demaine

Possibly Soldier Beetle

Dear Lynne,
We wish we could make out the detail on the antennae better as that is a big help in classification.  We are pretty certain this is NOT a Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae, we also believe we can eliminate it being a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae.  We are pursuing research that this is a member of the superfamily Elateroidea, possibly the Soldier Beetle family Cantharidae.  While there are some similar looking Soldier Beetles pictured on Scielo, we were not able to locate a conclusive match.  Perhaps our readership can assist with this identification.

Thank you Daniel for your quick reply – I will hope someone out there can ID it for me!
I have attached a second photo that I took – it does show one of the antennae slightly better.
Best wishes

Soldier Beetle

Facebook comment from Tina
Plausibly Chauliognathus heros, a type of soldier beetle.
Coleopteres du Panama

Ed. Note:  We also found a matching image on Project Noah of an individual from Costa Rica.

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Subject: Beetle orgy on goldenrod!
Location: Schenectady, NY
August 27, 2016 11:46 am
Hello WhatsThatBug,
I thought you’d enjoy this shot of no less than four pairs of mating beetles on the same goldenrod plant! There were actually at least two other pairs that I didn’t get in the shot, so clearly this plant is the place for looooove. I think they are Goldenrod Soldier Beetles.
I spotted them at a local park that has a perfect pond for dragonflies. This stand of goldenrod grows alongside a tiny stream that runs through the grass in an open area, and as you can imagine it is a very popular spot for all kinds of insects, including a huge variety of bees and wasps. I’ll need to go back with extra batteries in my camera to see what else I can photograph!
Signature: Susan B.

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Dear Susan,
Your lurid images of mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles,
Chauliognathus pensylvanicus, are a wonderful addition to our Bug Love tag.  Many years ago we created a Milkweed Meadow tag because there is such a diverse group of insects, including the Monarch Butterfly, that depend upon milkweed for survival, and there are many other insects that are attracted to the nectar rich blossoms.  At that time, we had planned a companion plant community tag called the Goldenrod Meadow because similar to milkweed, goldenrod is also associated with a very diverse insect community.  We are taking the opportunity to launch our Goldenrod Meadow tag with your wonderful submission, and now we will have to go back through our archives to tag appropriate postings from the past.  When you return to the goldenrod patch with extra batteries, please send us any images that you feel will be of interest to our readership. 

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

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Subject:  For Bug Love
Location:  sorry… Magdalen Hill
August 18, 2016
For Bug Love
http://butterfly-conservation.org/2401-1937/magdalen-hill-down-hampshire.html
Clare

Mating Soldier Beetles

Mating Soldier Beetles

Dear Clare,
These are mating Soldier Beetles, and there is not a high enough resolution in your image to be certain of the species.  We located several similar looking species on Nature Spot, and regarding the species
Cantharis cryptica, Nature Spot indicates:  “7 to 8.5 mm. An orange/brown beetle with black rings above the ‘knees’ and all-yellow palps. There are several similar species and precise identification may need detailed examination.”  Another possible species is Cantharis rufa, and Nature Spot indicates:  “Length 9 – 11 mm. This soldier beetle is largely all orange but sometimes there is a black mark on the pronotum which is quite square looking and doesn’t reach to the front border (extending just over half way). The legs may be be pale or dark but with contrasting ‘knees’ in both cases.  Similar Species:  This species is larger than the similar Cantharis cryptica and C. pallida – both of which are 7-8mm in length. Rhagonycha translucida lacks the blacks knees and has a pronotum that narrows towards the head.”  Of the similar looking Cantharis pallida, Nature Spot indicates:  “They are frequent visitors to thistles and umbelliferous flowers, where they probably prey on other flower-feeding insects.”  That is a thistle in your image.  Finally, we could not rule out the larger Common Red Soldier Beetle, Rhagonycha fulva, and Nature Spot states:  “A very common beetle throughout most of Britain.”  After all that, we hope a family identification will suffice.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination