Soldier Beetle (Chauliognathus spp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Soldier Beetle.
Updated: 7/22/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Soldier Beetle is a steadfast ally to the home gardener. It both protects and pollinates, doing plants two favors at once.
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.