goldenrod soldier beetle

(Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus)

Conservation Status
goldenrod soldier beetle
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

not listed

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Goldenrod soldier beetle is the most common soldier beetle in the Midwest. It is considered beneficial because its larvae feed on the striped cucumber beetle and other pests.

Adults are to 9 16 long and colorful. The body is elongated, soft, and somewhat flattened. The sides are nearly parallel. The underside is black.

The thoracic shield (pronotum) is wider than long and brownish-yellow or orangish-yellow. A black spot covers most of the back (posterior) three quarters of the pronotum. The spot is widest at the front (anterior) and does not extend to the anterior margin of the pronotum.

The abdominal segments are mostly black with a narrow brownish-yellow or orangish-yellow posterior margin. The forewings (elytra) are brownish-yellow or orangish-yellow and loose. They are leathery and flexible, not hardened like on most beetles. They are long but do not extend beyond the abdomen. Each elytron has a black, elongated, longitudinal mark. The black mark is usually confined to the posterior half but sometimes extends the entire length of the elytron. The inner (sutural) and outer (lateral) margins are always brownish-yellow or orangish-yellow.

The head is black, large, and prominent. It is visible from above, not concealed beneath the pronotum. The antennae are slender, thread-like, black, and more than half as long as the body.

The legs are long, and slender, and mostly black. The third and most robust segment of each leg (femur) is entirely black. The fourth segment (tibia) of the front leg is brownish-yellow or orangish-yellow. The end segment of each leg (tarsus) has 5 sections. The fourth tarsal segment is lobed.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

to 9 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Margined leatherwing (Chauliognathus marginatus) is darker orange. The pronotum is longer than wide and has a thick black mark extending its entire length longitudinally. Adults are active in May and June. It has been recorded Wisconsin and Iowa, but not in Minnesota.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Prairies, meadows, abandoned fields, gardens, parks, and roadsides.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Early June to early October

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female deposits clusters of eggs in the soil or in leaf litter. Larvae feed in the soil. They pupate in cells in the soil in the spring of the following year.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Grasshopper eggs, small caterpillars, beetle larvae, and soft-bodied insects.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Nectar and pollen of flowers, especially goldenrod; aphids and other small insects.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 29, 30.

 
  8/1/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common, widespread, and abundant

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Elateriformia  
 

Superfamily

Elateroidea (click, firefly and soldier beetles)  
 

Family

Cantharidae (soldier beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Chauliognathinae  
 

Tribe

Chauliognathini  
 

Genus

Chauliognathus  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

goldenrod soldier beetle

Pennsylvania leather-wing

Pennsylvania leatherwing

soldier beetle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened or leathery forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five sections of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Luciearl

 
    goldenrod soldier beetle      
           
 

beetle on beetle

 
    goldenrod soldier beetle      
           
 

Soldier beetle and bumble bee sharing goldenrod.

 
    goldenrod soldier beetle      
 

Nanc

 
 

Spotted in my vegetable garden.

 
    goldenrod soldier beetle      
 

ABaker

 
  These guys show up late every summer and seem to only have one thing in mind. I find them everywhere except on my goldenrod. They love my panicle hydrangea. Wish they would eat the millions on aphids on my common milkweed!   goldenrod soldier beetle  
           
        goldenrod soldier beetle  
 

Alfredo Colon

 
    goldenrod soldier beetle   goldenrod soldier beetle  
           
    goldenrod soldier beetle   goldenrod soldier beetle  
 

Scott Cole

 
  Here are a couple of pictures of a bee variety I do not recognize. They came to our allium this afternoon. Still feeding. Hundreds of them on three plants. On the hydrangea adjacent!   goldenrod soldier beetle  
           
        goldenrod soldier beetle  
 

Margot Avey

 
    goldenrod soldier beetle      
 

Bill Reynolds

 
    goldenrod soldier beetle      
 

Gracie14055@aol.com

 
    goldenrod soldier beetle      
 

Rana Thomas

 
    goldenrod soldier beetle      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    goldenrod soldier beetle   goldenrod soldier beetle  
           
    goldenrod soldier beetle      

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus
Allen Chartier
  Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus  

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Soldier beetle forages on wild cucumber
Robert Klips
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 26, 2011

The Pennsylvania leatherwing, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus (Cantharidae) is a soldier beetle that is very common on flowers. Here, an individual as apparently foraging for pollen on the staminate flowers of wild cucumber, Echinocystis lobata growing along a road in Delaware County, Ohio, USA on August 26, 2011.

 
  Goldenrod soldier beetle (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus)
tomb0171
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 19, 2011

Goldenrod soldier beetle (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus)

* Family: Cantharidae,
* Genus: Chauliognathus,
* Species: C. pensylvanicus,
* Phylum: Arthropoda,
* Class: Insecta,
* Order: Coleoptera,
* Type: Bugs
* Diet: Omnivore,
* Avarege lifespan in the wilds: no data,
* Size: no data,
* Weight: no data,

** Chauliognathus pensylvanicus, is a species of soldier beetle (Cantharidae).

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldenro...

 
  Goldenrod Soldier Beetle (Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus) Mating
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 11, 2010

Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (10 August 2010).

 
  Goldenrod Soldier Beetle (Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus) on Blossom
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 28, 2010

Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (28 July 2010).

 

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Luciearl
9/17/2021

Location: Fairview Twp, Cass County

beetle on beetle

goldenrod soldier beetle

 
  Nanc
7/30/2021

Location: Brooklyn Park, MN

Spotted in my vegetable garden.

goldenrod soldier beetle  
  ABaker
8/21/2020

Location: Kimball, MN

These guys show up late every summer and seem to only have one thing in mind. I find them everywhere except on my goldenrod. They love my panicle hydrangea. Wish they would eat the millions on aphids on my common milkweed!

goldenrod soldier beetle

 
  Karla Tygard
6/21/2020

Location: Kentucky

I live in Kentucky and there all over my place inside and out! I thought they were lighting bugs! Lol

 
  akgirl35
8/19/2019

Location: East Saint Paul, MN

Neighbor’s goldenrod is COVERED in these!  Glad we finally found out what they are. They don’t seem to disrupt the bees at all, and now I want to introduce them to a neighbor across the alley with an aphid problem!

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/13/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

goldenrod soldier beetle

 
  Luciearl
8/29/2018

Location: Fairview Township

goldenrod soldier beetle

 
  Scott Cole
8/15/2018

Location: Mankato, MN

Here are a couple of pictures of a bee variety I do not recognize. They came to our allium this afternoon. Still feeding. Hundreds of them on three plants. On the hydrangea adjacent!

goldenrod soldier beetle

 
  Margot Avey
8/31/2017

Location: Duluth, MN

goldenrod soldier beetle

 
 

Bill Reynolds
8/30/2015

Location:  Pennington County MN

goldenrod soldier beetle

 
 

Rana Thomas
8/22/2014

Location:  Savage, MN

goldenrod soldier beetle

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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