Signup to receive email updates




or follow our RSS feed

Authors


John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



Blog Archives

732 Total Posts

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Soldier Beetle

What Looks Like a Lightning Bug With No Light - the Soldier Beetle

Posted by John Fulton -

As linden trees are shedding pollen, that means the leatherwing beetles – or soldier beetles are with us. They look like pale lightning bugs, but don't have the light. These beetles are elongate, soft-bodied and about 1/2 inch long. Colors of soldier beetles vary from yellow to red with brown or black wings or trim. A common and easily-spotted species is the Pennsylvania leatherwing, which is yellow with one large black spot on each wing. Most larvae are carnivorous, feeding on insects in the soil. Larvae overwinter in damp soil and debris or loose bark. The adults are also predators, eating caterpillars, eggs, aphids, and other soft-bodied insects. They will alternatively eat nectar and pollen if no insects are around. They do not damage plant foliage. Adults are often found on flowers such as goldenrod, where they lie in wait for prey, feed on pollen and mate. Since soldier beetles are beneficial, it is inadvisable to kill them.


Please share this article with your friends!
Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Pin on Pinterest