Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Beetles"
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Bug Love
August 31, 2009
I thought you might like a photo of some margined leatherwing beetles in the mating act.
Doug
near Omaha NE

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Dear Doug,
Thanks for sending us your Bug Love image, but we don’t believe these are Margined Leatherwings.  That species, according to BugGuide, is “Very similar to C. pennsylvanicus, but pronotum has wide dark band, instead of an irregular dark spot. Elytra of C. marginatus often more extensively dark than pennsylvanicus. C. marginatus is also somewhat smaller and is active earlier in summer than C. pennsylvanicus.
In our opinion, your photo depicts mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles or Pennsylvania Leatherwings, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus.  Compare your image to the images posted on BugGuide.

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Beetle black & orange-yellow
August 12, 2009
Beetle same size and shape as a firefly. Black and orange-yellow carapice; black and yellow bars on body. Similar to a Cantharid beetle, but different color and pattern. Mating in August. Couldn’t find on internet or stock photo sites.
Mike Church
Detroit area, Michigan

Mating Pennsylvania Leatherwings

Mating Pennsylvania Leatherwings

Hi Mike,
These are mating Pennsylvania Leatherwings, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus, also called Goldenrod Soldier Beetles
.  They are a species of Soldier Beetle.  Soldier Beetles, Fireflies and Click Beetles are all in the same superfamily Elateroidea which is why they resemble one another.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Firefly impostor
June 13, 2009
A few weeks ago I noticed many insects that look very similar to fireflies. The body is black and head has red/orange markings. They seemed to appear all on the same day and now we have hundreds around the house. We have never noticed them (at least in this quantity) before. Any idea?
Bugged Out
Philadelphia suburbs

Soldier Beetle

Black Firefly

Dear Bugged Out,
We are trying to answer some older mail we didn’t open in the past month.  This is a species of Soldier Beetle, Rhaxonycha carolinus.  BugGuide has some additional information on the species.

Correction
Tuesday, 14 July, 2009
I don’t know, this looks more like Lucidota atra, a diurnal species with reduced light organs, but a true firefly.  Have a look: http://bugguide.net/node/view/5361
clickbeetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What R These?
July 13, 2009
Hi
These are found on one paticular plant right now which they feed upon and become intimate as well. I’ve included a pic of the plant. The beetles are1/2″ in length at most. I have never seen these in the field that I walk on a regular basis for the past 5 years. Are they new to this area. Thanks
Yeffer
Eastern Ontario Canada

Common Red Soldier Beetles

Common Red Soldier Beetles

Hi Yeffer,
The Common Red Soldier Beetle, Rhagonycha fulva, is, according to BugGuide:  “well-established in British Columbia and Quebec [Pat Bouchard]; recently recorded in Ontario from BugGuide photos … native to Eurasia; introduced to North America some time ago.”  BugGuide also indicates:  “adults feed on small insects that visit flowers larvae feed on snails, slugs, and ground-dwelling insects” and especially interesting, that it is also called Hogweed Bonking Beetle. ”  The Garden Safari website indicates it is because “The Hogweed Bonking Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva) is often seen in copula on plants and flowers.”

Common Red Soldier Beetle

Common Red Soldier Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Intruder Alert!
Thu, May 28, 2009 at 10:51 PM
I found this guy skulking alone on my living room ceiling this evening. It was a very warm day out today, one of the warmest so far this year in Portland, Oregon.
I don’t recognize him, nor to any of my friends.
For the moment, I have him in a holding cell. If he turns out to be a harmless bug, I’ll just release him in the back yard and let him go on his way. If he’s one of those destructive pests, with other friends hiding out in the woodwork (so to speak), he will face summary execution.
So, can you identify this invader?
Paranoid Portland Home Owner
Portland, Oregon

Soldier Beetle

Soldier Beetle

Dear PPHO,
This is a species of Soldier Beetle.  According to BugGuide, Soldier Beetle:  “Adults eat nectar, pollen and in some cases other insects, particularly aphids. Larvae are generally carnivorous and feed on small soft-bodied insects.  A few species feed on plant material such as grains potatoes and celery.   “We believe it is in the genus Cantharis which may be viewed on BugGuide.  The species Cantharis fidelis, which is reported from Oregon, looks quite similar to your beetle.  Soldier Beetles are often attracted to lights, which could explain the presence in your living room.  You may release your captive as it will not harm you nor your home.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mating unknown Longicorns
Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 6:02 PM
Hi guys.
Hope the book is progressing well. I found this pair today while photographing a moth. I have not seen such brightly coloured longicorns before and hopefully someone can ID these for me. Hope you like this buglove shot
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Mating Soldier Beetles

Mating Soldier Beetles

Hi Trevor,
We are still courting the editor and publisher and the book is still in the concept phase. These are not Longicorns, but Soldier Beetles in the family Cantharidae. On the Brisbane Insect site, they resemble the Tricolor Soldier Beetles, Chauliognathus tricolor.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination