Melody, Thank You so much for your wonderful, informative article!! Every gardener needs to know about the "Good Guy" insects.
I first noticed Soldier Beetles last summer on my Gaillardia. Of course my first thought was, "OH NO, something else to destroy my plants, so I took several pictures and posted on the "Insect and Spider ID" forum. Because Flapdoodle was so quick to respond, I learned I had a new "Friendly" in my garden. Thrilled, I immediately posted my pics and comments in BugFiles.
Every day I'm reminded just how fantastic this community of knowledgable members is!
You really should take a picture and post on the Insect ID forum. People are so helpful there. Whenever I find out the name of a new bug, I label my picture with both the name and whether it's good or bad and add it to my "Bug file". That way I remember for the future without looking for my old threads.
Yes, I do a lot more taking pictures. When I had these bugs, I didn't have a camera that would work with computers, nor did I know how to down load pictures at that time. Now, I take quite a few pictures. I have found it to be very rewarding.
I really like the ID forum. It's really difficult for me to try to narrow down a research on my computer and then, I am not sure I have the right bug identified. Posting on the ID forum is much quicker and more accurate.
So, Melody, back to this article. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with the rest of us.