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  • Soldier Beetle - (Podabrus pruinosis)

    Soldier Beetle - (Podabrus pruinosis)

    Soldier Beetles are great aphid hunters, helping gardeners control pest populations that often undermine food harvests or ornamental aesthetics.

    Picture of Soldier Beetle
    Staff Writer (6/16/2017): Most Soldier Beetle are sentries in the garden, eating insects that harm plants. Some species feed on aphids; some eat the sticky honeydew that aphids secrete after ingesting the juices from a plant. Certain Solider Beetles eat both, which is a bonus. Honeydew attracts other insects, like ants, and can turn black with mold in certain conditions, ruining the beauty of ornamental plants. Aphids are a fast breeding insect that can quickly infest a plant and drain it of its resources, weakening it to the point of death. Soldier Beetles are a friend to gardeners.

    The wings of this beetle are soft, like leather. Their coloring was reminiscent of the red coats worn by British military. They are members of the Cantharidae family, which means they secrete a defensive toxic chemical that deters predators from pursuing them.

    Look for Solider Beetle adults on flowers and plants prone to aphid attack. Their larvae can be seen on the ground feeding in leaf litter.

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    Details of the:
    Soldier Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Soldier Beetle
    Scientific Name: Podabrus pruinosis
    Other Names: Leatherwing Beetle

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Cantharidae
           Genus: Podabrus
            Species: pruinosis

    Size (Adult, Length): 11mm to 17mm (0.43in to 0.67in)

    Identifying Colors: black, orange

    Additional Descriptors: flower, 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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