What is That and are They Harmful?

Several have asked about orange/yellow beetles that seem to be everywhere, especially on flowering plants. They are likely soldier beetles, also known as leatherwings. These beetles are about ½” long, with yellow wings and splashes of black. They resemble, and sometimes are confused with, fireflies. Both the adults and larvae, that spend their time in the soil, are predators of soft-bodied insects, e.g., eggs, caterpillars, etc. If the adults cannot find an abundance of prey, they will feed and gather on the pollen of flowering plants – a protein source for many insects. They do not cause harm to plants, they are good guys…do not smash, squish or spray them!

Soldier beetles feeding on dandelion pollen.

Soldier beetles feeding on dandelion pollen.

Share This Article
It is the policy of the Purdue University that all persons have equal opportunity and access to its educational programs, services, activities, and facilities without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran. Purdue is an Affirmative Action Institution. This material may be available in alternative formats. 1-888-EXT-INFO Disclaimer: Reference to products in this publication is not intended to be an endorsement to the exclusion of others which may have similar uses. Any person using products listed in this publication assumes full responsibility for their use in accordance with current directions of the manufacturer.
Pest&Crop newsletter - Department of Entomology Purdue University 901 Mitch Daniels Blvd West Lafayette, IN 47907

© 2024 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Pest&Crop newsletter

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Pest&Crop newsletter at luck@purdue.edu.