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  • Margined Leatherwing Beetle - (Chauliognathus marginatus)

    Margined Leatherwing Beetle - (Chauliognathus marginatus)

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

    Staff Writer (7/25/2017): 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.

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    Details of the:
    Margined Leatherwing Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Margined Leatherwing Beetle
    Scientific Name: Chauliognathus marginatus

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Cantharidae
           Genus: Chauliognathus
            Species: marginatus

    Identifying Colors: orange, black

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; British Columbia; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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