Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: two-spotted insect
Location: northeastern Illinois
October 29, 2012 5:02 pm
I found this colorful fellow on a thistle blossom along with a bumblebee that I noticed first. I tried some self ID using your website but gave up after a couple of hours because I frankly don’t know the correct section to look through. I took a side view and a top view to help identify it.
Signature: unintentional entomologist

Pennsylvania Leatherwing

Dear unintentional entomologist,
The Pennsylvania Leatherwing or Goldenrod Soldier Beetle is frequently associated with goldenrod, a common autumn bloom, and we are surprised that your photo is the first submission this year.  Typically, we begin to have identification requests for Pennsylvania Leatherwings beginning in September.

Actually, I took this picture on September 3, but I took a couple of hour’s worth of photos that day including ducks, egrets and blue herons which were having great success wading and fishing in a shallow section of a rain-depleted Fox River. Consequently, I did not get around to processing the macro-lens photos from along the river bank until October 27th. There were some pictures of goldenrod in the group, but none had this beetle in it.
I guess I still would have been your first submission this year, but at least it would have been within your expected time frame.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this some kind of termite?
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
October 6, 2012 8:17 am
This is my second asking, as I did not receive an answer to my first request, and although I’ve quite a lot of looking at BugGuide and searching with google, I can’t figure out what this is. I’ve become concerned that it may be some kind of termite.
We found it on the carpet in our apartment in eastern Pennsylvania.
Signature: Rob

Unknown Larva

Hi Rob,
We apologize for the delay. Our tiny staff tries to respond to as many requests as possible, but we can never fully fulfill the demands of our readership.  This is NOT a termite.  It is the larval form of some insect, most likely a Beetle, but we need to do additional research.  Hopefully we will eventually be able to provide an identification since larvae are often notoriously difficult to identify to the species level.

Thanks for getting back to me.  I’m glad to hear it isn’t a termite.

Update:  15 October 2012
Thanks to a comment from one of our readers, we are confident this is a Soldier Beetle Larva as it looks nearly identical to this photo posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A romantic liason between beetles?
Location: Toronto, Ontario
June 27, 2012 9:44 am
Hi Bugman,
I was out walking with my 3-year old daughter Rebecca, and we came across a patch of Wild Carrot plants, sporting many sets of frolicking insects… possibly some kind of long horn beetle? She asked if they were playing ’piggyback’, and not wanting to get into a discussion quite yet about the ’birds and the bee(tles)’, I agreed that they were most certainly having some kind of a good time. Would you know what kind of beetles these might be (a picture of them now appears as the desktop screen on my phone). Thanks! 🙂
Signature: AliA

Mating Common Red Soldier Beetles

Dear AliA,
These mating beetles are Common Red Soldier Beetles,
Rhagonycha fulva, and they are an introduced species from Eurasia that is found in the northern parts of North America.  We are very amused by another common name we found on BugGuide: the Hogweed Bonking Beetle. 

Thanks Daniel – “Bonking” Beetle is very appropriate!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I have a bug infestation
Location: Hawthorn, Australia, 3123
March 3, 2012 8:50 pm
Hello, I have an infestation in my fromt garden in Melbourne, Australia, and I am unsure what I can do about it.
Signature: Thanks, Peter Schwarcz

Blister Beetles

Dear Peter,
This appears to be a species of Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae, however, we are not having any luck with a more specific identification.  Blister Beetles are seasonal and sometimes appear in great numbers defoliating plants.  Blister Beetles exude a substance known as cantharadin that is known to cause blistering in sensitive individuals.  We do not give extermination advice.

Hey guys. I don’t think they are blister beetles, I think they are Plague Soldier Beetles. They congregate to mate generally, bit of an orgy going on in the garden.

Thanks for the correction Trevor.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug Love
Location: Newton, New Jersey, flower field
September 3, 2011 1:33 pm
These are thick on the flowers right now, and I am not sure if they are some sort of bee/wasp or a beetle? They seem very benign and didn’t mind in the least that I had my camera lens poking them in the face. They seem to be covered in pollen.
Signature: Debbi in New Jersey

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Hi Debbi,
Beginning with the end of summer, sightings of Goldenrod Soldier Beetles or Pennsylvania Leatherwings become quite common.  Adults are commonly found on blossoms with a high pollen content, including goldenrod.  Goldenrod Soldier Beetles very effectively mimic stinging wasps, but they are harmless themselves.

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle

Thanks!  Your website is the best!  Have a great weekend.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pennsylvania Leatherwing suns itself, then eats a hydrangea
Location: Naperville, IL
August 31, 2011 9:14 pm
Hello Daniel~
I have these Leatherwings, aka Goldenrod Soldier beetles, all over my hydrangea paniculata ’tardiva’. I understand their larvae enjoy cucumber beetles. All the best to you!
Signature: Dori Eldridge

Pennsylvania Leatherwing

Hi Dori,
Now that summer is nearing an end, we expect to be getting numerous identification requests for Pennsylvania Leatherwings that love feeding on goldenrod pollen, though we don’t expect any of the photos to be as nice as your photo.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination