The Ubiquitous Goldenrod Soldier Beetle
Goldenrod is a vital source of nectar and pollen during late summer and fall for many insects, including Goldenrod Soldier Beetles, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus. In fact, it’s unusual not to see one or more of these beetles if you’re near a flowering patch of goldenrod. One of many species of soldier beetles, Goldenrod Soldier Beetles superficially resemble fireflies, but do not have light-producing organs.
Their outer wing covers, or elytra, have two prominent brownish-black spots on them and are soft and semi-flexible, unlike most beetles, which have hard, shell-like elytra. For this reason they are also known as Leatherwings. Both adults and larvae produce defensive chemicals from glands in their abdomens that discourage predation from birds, bats and other small predators.
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