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Good or Bad: Common Red Soldier Beetle

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Question from Bob van Geldere


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I recently planted a new border and my astrantia majors have been invested with this little red beetle. They spent most time on the astrantia but have now moved on to my Jacobs ladder and hydrangea. A bit of research suggests that these are positive contributors, however it appears that they literally suck the life out of the plants. Does anybody have any advice on this matter?

Thank you very much in advance for your support!


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Good or Bad: Common Red Soldier Beetle (19/07/2011)

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  • Views: 1437
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Tue. 19th July 2011 20:45

Re: Good or Bad: Common Red Soldier Beetle

Reply from Nicola

Hi Bob - we had a reply on our Twitter page from @Fleurfox aka Gill.

She wrote: Red Soldier beetle doesn't destroy plants as far as I know

Hope that helps!

  • Posted: Wed. 20th July 2011 08:36

Re: Good or Bad: Common Red Soldier Beetle

Reply from Angie Robertson

These insects are friends in your garden. I have had lots of them recently on various plants but they seemed to find my astrantia most attractive!
These bugs are not destroying your plants, there must be something else

This is what wikipedia has to say on them:
The common red soldier beetle will grow up to a centimetre. Nearly all their body is coloured red yellowish. Only the last bit of the elytra is black. The body is flat and elongated. The chitin armour is very soft, resulting in the German name of this species as Weichkäfer (meaning "soft beetle"). The black thread-like antennae are also relatively long. The equally long legs have an orange colour, which become notably darker only at the end.
This beetle is very common in Europe and Anatolia. Introduced to North America, it is well-established in British Columbia and Quebec and recently recorded in Ontario[1]. One will find it very often in bushes or on grass and fields.
These beetles are active during the daylight hours, when they will hunt mostly for small insects on top of flowers.
Fairly often one will find many of them on Apiaceae or Asteraceae like thistles.
After copulation the females will lay her eggs. The larvae are soil-dwellers which hunt for snails and insects. After a year and several moults the larvae will pupate and then emerge as fully grown beetles

  • Posted: Wed. 20th July 2011 20:16