Plant-Insect Interaction: Goldenrod soldier beetles on a variety of wildflowers

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Goldenrod soldier beetle (Coleoptera: Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) on a goldenrod (Solidago sp., Asteraceae). Photographed 09/04/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

Although adult goldenrod soldier beetles (Coleoptera: Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) are often associated with goldenrod (Solidago sp., Asteraceae), these insects will happily feed on nectar and pollen from a variety of other wildflowers. The other day I found them not only on goldenrods but on Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota, Apiaceae)…

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Goldenrod soldier beetle (Coleoptera: Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) on a Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota, Apiaceae). Photographed 09/04/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

…as well as New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, Asteraceae):

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Goldenrod soldier beetle (Coleoptera: Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) on a New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, Asteraceae). Photographed 09/04/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

While the adults feed on nectar and pollen, their larvae devour the eggs, nymphs, and larvae of aphids, flies, butterflies, moths, and grasshoppers. Since they help control a variety of pestiferous insects, soldier beetles are regarded as a beneficial family.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Plant-Insect Interaction: Goldenrod soldier beetles on a variety of wildflowers

  1. navery101 says:

    Oh, thanks for the info…I believe I saw one on my sedum flowers…which is a “gold-mine” of activity!

    Like

  2. That was interesting, I really enjoy learning these facts from your blog. I should also take time to compliment your excellent photos.

    Like

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