Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Beetles"

Subject:  some beetle??
Geographic location of the bug:  Bay Area, California
Date: 04/17/2018
Time: 02:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug on my peas and oats! Sorry for the bad picture. Is it a harmful insect that I should work to control? If so, how do I do so? Thank you!!
How you want your letter signed:  Jayde

Soldier Beetle

Dear Jayde,
This is a Soldier Beetle in the family Cantharidae, and according to iNaturalist, there are many species in California.  Your individual might be 
Podabrus pruinosus comes based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide: “Adults eat nectar, pollen, other insects; larvae are fluid-feeding predators, feed on insect eggs and larvae” which means they are a beneficial family.  

Subject:  antlike insect
Geographic location of the bug:  costa rica Monteverde
Date: 12/30/2017
Time: 08:25 PM EDT
I took this shot outside the family Van Trapp hotel in Monteverde Costa Rica
I was taking a walk at night and saw this weird insect. I tried to find information but could not find any so I hope you will be able to tell me.  Thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Terri

Deformed Soldier Beetle

Dear Terri,
This is a Soldier Beetle in the family Cantharidae, and something has gone wrong during the molting process which led to deformed wings.  Several years ago, we posted a nearly identical image of a Soldier Beetle from Costa Rica that had undergone a bad molt Alamy has an image of what the Soldier Beetle should look like, but alas, the species is not identified.

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

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?

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.
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.

Soldier Beetle

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.