Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Beetles"

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
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.

Mating Orange Beetles
Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 12:17 AM
Many of these beetles were mating this fall amongst the wildflowers here in Colorado Springs.
Nick DeBarmore
Colorado Springs, CO

Mating Soldier Beetles, possibly Colorado Soldier Beetles
Mating Soldier Beetles, possibly Colorado Soldier Beetles

Dear Nick,
These are some species of Soldier Beetle or Leatherwing from the genus Chauliognathus.  There is a very common eastern species, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus, the Goldenrod Soldier Beetle, but according to BugGuide, there have been no reports from Colorado.  There are several species that have been reported from Colorado, but exact species identification is difficult due to your camera angle.  Were we to hazard a guess, we would say these are most likely  Colorado Soldier Beetles, Chauliognathus basalis, but the distinguishing features according to BugGuide:  “head, antennae, legs black; pronotum and elytra reddish-orange; pronotum with semicircular or U-shaped black mark on posterior half; elytra with triangular black patch at base and rectangular black patch at tip color of elytra is apparently variable (polymorphic) and is the subject of research papers ” are not visible in your image.  As a general note on the excellent macro photographs you have sent to us for identification:  images showing only the specimens’ heads makes identification very difficult for us.  We would request that you only send images of the entire insect in question for identification purposes.

August 10, 2009
This copulating pair of soldier beetles is most likely C. pennsylvanicus and not C. basalis.  The color and elytral markings are much more consistent with that of C. pennsylvanicus and do not resemble those of C. basalis.  See the image from the Mating Pennsylvania Leatherwings post of Dec. 16, 2006 and you will see that these two images represent the same beetle species.  I grew up collecting copulating C. pennsulvanicus from wild sunflowers in SD and have seen thousands of them.

Bee? Beetle? in Illinois
Hi there! I stumbled across your website while looking for something about this insect. I saw it on a flower (the picture included) and thought it was a beetle. I was out collecting some flowers this afternoon and saw a whole bunch of them on some blanket flowers. I looked closer and noticed some stripes underneath, looking a lot like a bee. The striped abdomen is hidden in this picture. It’s under the beetle-looking yellow and black part. I live near Rockford, IL. Any help you can give me would be very welcome. Thanks!

Hi Katherine,
Your beetle is a Pennsylvania Leatherwing, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus, also known as the Goldenrod Soldier Beetle. It is commonly found in the fall in the eastern US on flowers gathering pollen.

6 legs
This was spotted at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, UK on a sunny (but not too hot) day in June 2006 It’s about 2 inches long. Never seen anything like it before. Note the sticky-up triangle at the rear.

Hi Sam,
We believe this is a Soldier Beetle in the family Cantharidae, but we cannot locate an exact species for you. The triangle you mention are the wings. Beetles have a hard set of wings known as elytra and a soft set of underwings used for flying.

Update:  August 18, 2016
WE just received a new image and upon doing the research, we realized this Soldier Beetle was never identified to the species level.  We believe, based on these Nature Spot images, that it is the Common Red Soldier Beetle,
Rhagonycha fulva,  and it is “A very common beetle throughout most of Britain.”