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  • Soldier Beetle - (Chauliognathus spp.)

    Soldier Beetle - (Chauliognathus spp.)

    The Soldier Beetle is a steadfast ally to the home gardener. It both protects and pollinates, doing plants two favors at once.

    Staff Writer (7/22/2014): Commonly found in parks and fields, this genus of beetle feeds on aphids. They are usually spotted on flowers, especially Goldenrods and Hydrangeas. While reducing the number of plant-sucking insects, they also pollinate flowers so the plants can reproduce.

    A variety of species vary in pattern, though most are some kind of orange and black. Some are a lighter orange that borders on yellow. All have eltyra (wing coverings) that have the texture of leather. They are active late summer to early autumn.

    Larvae hatch under leaf litter or debris. They eat the eggs and larvae of other insects also on the ground. Larvae have special glands that emit a defensive chemical spray that is retained and used into adulthood.

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    Details of the:
    Soldier Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Soldier Beetle
    Scientific Name: Chauliognathus spp.

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

    Size (Adult, Length): 8mm to 13mm (0.31in to 0.51in)

    Identifying Colors: yellow; orange; brown; black

    Additional Descriptors: flying, helpful

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; 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; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * 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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