This post provides information on Beneficial Insects, Ground Beetle, Clerid Beetles, Soldier Beetles. Three beneficial insects for the garden are Ground Beetles, Clerid Beetles, and Soldier Beetle. Some are beneficial simply by eating pest insects and some eat pest insects as well as pollinate flowers. In very few cases do the cause any harm to your plants.
Common black beetles are a form of ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Their bodies are oval with forward projecting jaws and most have hard wing casings. They are common in gardens, usually found under leaves, logs or other ground litter. Most remain on the ground and are poor climbers.
They are one of the top-10 largest animal families, as of 2015, with 40,000 species total, and 2000 in North America.
The Beetles eat other any invertebrate prey the can overpower. They catch them by ambush or running after them and catching them. In relation to their body length they are among the fastest land animals on Earth. Many of the invertebrate they eat are pests, making them a beneficial insect in the garden. They can consume up to their body weight daily.
Most ground beetles are nocturnal. Predators of ground beetles are the same as those of other beetles, including toads, small snakes, shrews, and birds.
There life cycle includes; egg, larva, pupa, and adult. On average, carabid beetles produce one generation per year. Females will singly deposit between 30 and 600 oval eggs within the soil or in the layer of plant residues on the soil surface. Adults can live up to four years.
The Clerid Beetle (Coleoptera: Cleridae) is usually brightly colored with bristly hairs and generally elongated bodies. They are commonly known as checkered beetles.
There are approximately 3,500 species in the world and about 500 species in North America.
Most Clerid feed on other beetles and larvae, but some feed are scavengers or pollen feeders. In some situations, they are considered to be highly beneficial in the control some pest bark beetles.
Like the ground beetle their life cycle includes; egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female Cleridae lay between 28–42 at a time. They have a lifecycle of 35 days to more than 3 years. Most clerid beetles spend winter in the larval stage.
Soldier Beetles (Coleoptera: Cantharidae), also known as leather wings, are elongated with fairly soft wing covers. They usually have yellow or orange and black markings. Soldier beetles get their name because their coloring is reminiscent of the early British Red Coats on soldiers.
They can be important predators of aphids, mealy bugs, and other soft-bodied insects and are most commonly observed on yellow flowers late in the season. Soldier Beetles will alternatively eat nectar and pollen if no insects are around. They do not damage plant foliage.
Soldier beetles are very active and readily fly, often resembling wasps in flight. Because of their frequent contact with flowers, soldier beetles are important pollinators.
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