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Margined Leatherwing Beetle: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

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Also known as the margined soldier beetle, the margined leatherwing beetle (Chauliognathus marginatus) is a North American insect that can be frequently spotted in urban gardens or agricultural lands and farms. These insects are often confused with the goldenrod leatherwing (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) for their similar appearance. If you reside somewhere in Kentucky, you might come across several of these soldier beetles in your blossoming garden at the end of summer or even during early fall. These harmless insects dwell on flowers foraging for pollen and nectar. They prefer to hover on flowers such as linden, tree of heaven, New Jersey tea, and hydrangea. These beetles help to maintain ecological balance by boosting the process of pollination and also by preying on several harmful crop insects like aphids. These beetles are the favorites of several farmers as they help them to get rid of pests that damage crops. However, a parasitic soil fungus is known to prey and feed on them by initially devouring the internal parts and then gradually reaching the brain.

Check out some more intriguing facts about the margined leatherwing beetle. For more relatable content, check out these red paper wasp facts and common wasp facts for kids.

Margined Leatherwing Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a margined leatherwing beetle?

The margined leatherwing beetle (Chauliognathus marginatus) is a species of insect belonging to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Cantharidae, and genus Chauliognathus.

What class of animal does a margined leatherwing beetle belong to?

Margined leatherwings are members of the Insecta class.

How many margined leatherwing beetles are there in the world?

The population of the margined soldier beetle species is widespread within its geographical boundaries but the number of adult beetles cannot be specified with precision owing to the lack of data.

Where does a margined leatherwing beetle live?

The population of margined soldier beetles is abundantly distributed throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. You can easily spot these insects in Alabama, New York, Florida, New Jersey, West Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states in the US. In Canada, they're plentiful in New Brunswick, British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island. Kentucky boasts of an enormous population of leatherwings that commonly include the goldenrod leatherwing beetles (Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus) as well as the margined leatherwing beetles.

What is a margined leatherwing beetle's habitat?

The habitat range of margined soldier beetles is generally enclosed within grasslands and prairies. They can also be spotted in urban parks or gardens covered with blossoms especially in the spring season. The larvae can be mostly found scuttling on the soil.

Who does margined leatherwing beetle live with?

These beetles are quite sociable and can be found in swarms.

How long does a margined leatherwing beetle live?

The lifespan of the margined leatherwing beetle hasn't been determined. However, it can be inferred that they thrive for a very short span since soldier beetles, like the goldenrod beetle, generally last for about three months.

How do they reproduce?

In general, soldier beetles copulate in the summer, and after laying eggs, the females engage in incubation through the winter season. The eggs are usually laid on the soil close to trees or flowering plants. After the eggs hatch, the soft-bodied larvae stick beneath the soil and feed on a variety of insects and their larvae. Then they enter the pupa stage and ultimately turn into adults during early spring.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the margined leatherwing beetle cannot be stated with accuracy as the species falls under the Not Evaluated category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. However, these beetles exist in ample numbers within their habitat range.

Margined Leatherwing Beetle Fun Facts

What do margined leatherwing beetle look like?

The coloration of the margined soldier beetle ranges from orange to red, brown, and black. Mostly, the orange-black combination is common. The larvae are shaded in black with a velvet-like appearance. They also possess tiny legs like caterpillars. These invertebrates have soft bright-colored bodies with an elongated body structure. The pronotum is absent from the head while the fringes of the wings exhibit a lighter shade. These beetles draw close resemblances to the Pennsylvania leatherwing. However, margined leatherwings possess a darker shade of black on their pronotum.

Margined leatherwing beetle facts tell about bright diurnal beetles.

How cute are they?

When it comes to analyzing the cuteness quotient of insects the opinions greatly differ from person to person. Some feel that beetles like darkling beetles are ugly while others marvel at the sight of one. In general, margined soldier beetles have an appealing look due to their vibrant orange-black body color.

How do they communicate?

Margined leatherwings interact through vibrations, scents, sounds, and bodily gestures. Like all other beetles, they rely on pheromones to trace potential partners.

How big is a margined leatherwing beetle?

These margined soldier beetles can grow up to an approximate length of 0.3-0.5 in (9-12 mm). These beetles are comparatively smaller than Christmas beetles, measuring around 0.8-1.2 in (2-3 cm) in length.

How fast can a margined leatherwing beetle move?

Beetles are perhaps one of the swiftest insects in the animal kingdom. Did you know that the Australian tiger beetle is the fastest insect in the entire world? The average running speed of this beetle species has been recorded at 5.6 mph (9 kph). The speed range of the margined leatherwing beetle is unknown but it can be safely concluded that it can achieve a maximum speed limit of 5 mph (8 kph) like other beetle species.

How much does a margined leatherwing beetle weigh?

The accurate weight of the margined leatherwing beetle remains shrouded in mystery. However, they're not too big in size and therefore not really bulky.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Neither the male nor the female of this species have distinct attributions and are regarded as male and female margined soldier beetles.

What would you call a baby margined leatherwing beetle?

The larva is the baby of a margined leatherwing beetle and it is commonly regarded as a grub whereas the pupa is termed chrysalis.

What do they eat?

The margined leatherwing beetle enjoys an omnivorous diet. While the adults chiefly feed on pollen and nectar derived from flowers, the larvae portray predatory habits as they feed on insects like grasshoppers, caterpillars, corn earworms, aphids, and moths.

Are they poisonous?

The question remains, is the margined leatherwing dangerous? Absolutely not! Quite contrarily, these soldier beetles are very calm and peaceful. They do not bite or sting humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Although innumerable farmers invite soldier beetles such as the goldenrod and margined leatherwing beetles with open arms, they're not reared as house pets. They can be quite a nuisance when constricted within brick and mortar surroundings.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Are you aware that there are 160 identified soldier beetle species under 11 genera in California? All these insects belonging to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, and Coleoptera order exhibit differences in behavior, appearance, habitat, and functions. Podabrus, Chauliognathus, and Cantharis are three important genera of soldier beetles. Many beetle species are yet to be discovered.

Are margined leatherwing beetle rare?

The margined leatherwing is not at all rare. In fact, these beetles of order Coleoptera, family Cantharidae are extremely common in several places of the US and Canada.

How did they get their name?

Interestingly, the margined leatherwing beetle derived its name from its appearance. The elytra have a leather-like texture, sheen, and flexibility. The edges of the wings are margined with light shades.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our Mydas fly surprising facts and cat-faced spider fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable arthropods coloring pages.

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