Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Cantharidae (Soldier Beetles or Leather-winged Beetles)

Soldiers beetles can be found on pollen-rich plants, such as goldenrods (Solidago) or in the foliage hunting for aphids. A very diverse and brightly colored family of beetles. The larvae eat smaller larvae and insects beneath bark or duff while the adults feed on pollen and nectar of a variety of plants but most are predatory.

The larvae are primarily nocturnal and feed on small arthropods in the ground litter. Larvae live under stones, in leaf litter, under bark, in moss or damp soil. When disturbed, they emit a foul odor and product a blackish goo from their mouth. They overwinter as larvae in the soil.

Eggs are deposited in masses on the ground or under stones.