Pennsylvania Leatherwing, Goldenrod Soldier Beetle, Soldier Beetle (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus)

Order: Coleoptera (ko-lee-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Cantharidae
Genus: Chauliognathus
Species: pensylvanicus


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Barling, Arkansas
Deer, Arkansas
Algonquin, Illinois
Lombard, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Ankeny, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Benton, Kentucky
Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Millersville, Maryland
Bay City, Michigan
Flushing, Michigan
Albertville, Minnesota
Efland, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Westville, Oklahoma
Albion, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Renfrew, Pennsylvania
Kyles Ford, Tennessee
Houston, Texas
Sterling, Virginia
Neenah, Wisconsin
Watertown, Wisconsin
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Oct 7, 2016, myoldfriend from Lake Stevens, WA wrote:

This bug showed up in my garden on the Milkweed last summer, mated, had babies and took care of any aphids. This summer all those babies had babies - hundreds if not thousands - showed up on the Milkweed again. Although I notice some on other plants here and there, on the Milkweed they are thick on many branches. Can't wait to see what happens next summer.


On Sep 2, 2015, Dragonflys4me from (Chris), IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

These showed up for the first time here in my garden (Iowa) and I'm so excited to find out that it's a good bug that will eat aphids YAY! :)

Win-win situation: pollinator and aphid eater.


On Dec 24, 2014, Chillybean from (Zone 5a) wrote:

aabeck's comment above is why we no longer kill any bug before a correct identification is made. A quick glance at an insect is not enough. The convergent ladybug is similar in appearance to the alien Asian Ladybeetle. I may have let a few of the non-natives go, but I did not want to risk squishing the good "guys".

We had quite a few of these Soldier Beetles on our Goldenrod, Rough Blazingstar and other plants and were thrilled once we learned what they were. We will continue planting natives to draw this type of bug to our property to control some of the less desirables.


On Aug 25, 2012, nutsaboutnature from Algonquin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I just found out what these were a few minutes ago and I'm thrilled! It's so rare to have an insect "just show up" that turns out to be beneficial.

I didn't recall ever seeing them before so when I started noticing them on my Gaillardia I posted a question...along with pics...on DG Insect and Spider Identification. Within a very few minutes I got a definitive answer from Flapdoodle (along with a link to a photo).

Now that I know more about them I sure hope they stick around for a while!

By-the-way, they really are kind of a pretty color combo.


On Sep 1, 2011, aabeck from Elizabethtown, KY wrote:

I am so angry with myself! Being new to the area, and new to gardening, I thought these were a type of cucumber beetle, and destroyed them. Ironic, since I'm trying to use organic methods as much as possible, and these guys would have been such a help!


On Sep 22, 2008, LetaAnne from Kyles Ford, TN wrote:

We have this insect in our neck of the woods in eastern Tennessee. I'm glad to read that it is possibly beneficial for controlling the corn ear worm, since I need all the help I can get! I think this is a beautiful bug.


On Aug 18, 2008, MsKatt from Charlevoix, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:

These were all over my Sweet Autumn Clematis! I'm glad to find out that they are beneficial.


On Aug 4, 2006, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

Common here in central Maryland on flowers for the pollen.


On Jul 25, 2006, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a Good Guy Bug...the adult eats pollen , nectar and small insects, the larvae eats grasshopper eggs, small catepillars and beetles.

The adults are about 1/2" long and they are found in meadows, fields and grasslands east of the Rocky Mountains.

Several species are actually used for a biological control of the Corn Earworm.