Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Goldenrod soldier beetle

The goldenrod soldier beetle (Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus), also sometimes called Pennsylvania leatherwing, is generally considered a beneficial insect, as its diet includes various common plant pests such as aphids.

Soldier beetles are named after one of the first species discovered in this group. It has a color pattern very similar to the red coats of early British soldiers. 

These beetles fly well and are often also valuable pollinators. Some of them can be confused with many other beetle species, some of which mimic them. Both adults and larvae have glands at the rear of the abdomen that release defensive chemicals similar to the stink bugs.

The goldenrod soldier beetle is found mostly on golden rod, hence the name. It may occasionally venture indoors, especially as temperatures begin to drop in fall, where it is primarily considered no worse than a nuisance, as it will not bite or sting people or pets.

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