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Margined Leatherwing Beetle (Chauliognathus marginatus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Margined Leatherwing Beetle.

 Updated: 7/25/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




A firefly mimic, the Margined Leatherwing Beetle is a springtime pollinator and its larvae are voracious predators.



Margined Leatherwing Beetles are similar in appearance to its relative, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing though the latter is active in autumn, not spring. The Margined Leatherwing has more black on its pronotum ('shoulders') which bleeds onto the head, splitting as it approaches the eyes. The size of the black patches on the elytra vary per individual with some looking completely dark while others have contained ovals. The texture, flexibility and sheen of the elytra resembles leather, hence the common name. This species is shaped like Fireflies, though it is not one. It does not have bioluminescence.

Margined Leatherwings are a type of Soldier Beetle. Adults can be found in the spring on the blossoms of a variety of flowers such as hydrangea, linden, New Jersey tea and tree of heaven. They roam into and out of blossoms, inadvertently covering themselves in pollen. This makes them great pollinators in gardens, fields and meadows. Females lay fertilized eggs in the soil near plants. Larvae hatch and prey on other insects. Their large consumption of pest insects makes them a benefit to gardeners.

A soil fungus is known to attack this insect as an adult. Parasitic in nature, it feeds on the internal body parts of the insect, eventually attacking the brain. Dead Margined Leatherwing Beetles have been found attached to leaves by their jaws. The fungus is believed to spread its spores out of the beetles' bodies in order to reproduce itself.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Cantharidae
          Genus: Chauliognathus
            Species: marginatus
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Chauliognathus marginatus
Category: Beetle
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange, black
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Beetle Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American Beetle insect
1
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
3
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
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Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
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Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
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Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.