Soldier beetles are a family of beetles named after one of the first species observed, which had a color pattern similar to that of the red coats of early British soldiers.
These beetles are separated into five subfamilies, divided into several tribes consisting of various genera.
Size: 0.0625-0.125 in (0.15 to 2.8 cm)
Color: The colors of these beetles range from yellow to red, with black or brown wings.
Other Characteristic Features: Soldier beetles are very similar in appearance to lightning bugs, though they lack the light-producing organs of the latter.
They are brightly colored, varying from black, brown, red, and yellow. The larvae are slender, worm-like, covered with setae, and around 1.25 cm long.
Pupation takes place underneath the soil, with the larvae overwintering till spring.
Females lay eggs on organic litter or the topside of soil in a mass. The eggs hatch in a week.
|Lifespan||Less than a year|
|Habitat||Areas with high humidity, such as leaf litter, loose soil, plant debris, and under loose bark|
|Seasons active||Spring, late summer, and fall|
|Diet||Larvae: Eggs and larvae of insects like borers, earworms, and maggots, as well as other small creatures like snails
Adults: Pollen and nectar from flowers, aphids, and other insects
These beetles cause no damage to plants or humans, instead being beneficial to them by feeding on pests in both the larval and adult stages.