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Two-lined Leather-wing Beetle (Atalantycha bilineata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Two-lined Leather-wing Beetle.

 Updated: 8/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Two-lined Leather-wing Beetles are fine firefly mimics, but they are really soldiers at heart.



Two-lined Leather-wing Beetle Videos



A Two-lined Leather-wing Beetle walking around

A black elytra and an orange thorax give this beetle a resemblance to a variety of fireflies. The most obvious physical difference is the presence of two black lines or spots on that orange thorax instead of one central spot seen in virtually every kind of firefly. The orange head has black eyes and a black line between them. Its satiny black elytra are soft and flexible, not stiff like other types of beetles, so it is often referred to as a leather-wing. The Two-lined Leather-wing is a member of the Soldier Beetle family and does not light up.

Like most Soldier Beetles, it eats other insects, but is also a great pollinator. Look for adults on the flowers of viburnum shrubs like red haw. There they hunt for meals while also spreading pollen. Soldier Beetles also have a chemical defense when threatened. Glands by the rear end can secrete cantharidin, a substance that can cause blisters. Most adults are found in hardwood forests where mating occurs and fertilized eggs are laid on or near decaying wood. Two-lined Leather-wings are great garden friends that are best left alone to do their duty.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Cantharidae
          Genus: Atalantycha
            Species: bilineata
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Atalantycha bilineata
Other Name(s): Two-lined Cantharid
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 9mm (0.23in to 0.35in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, orange, red
Descriptors: flying, twin black spots, two dots, firefly, pollinator, beneficial, blister
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
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
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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).
5
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
6
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
7
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.