Beneficial insects are insects that help in some way in the garden. This could be by eating pest insects that would otherwise cause harm to your plants or it could be because they help to pollinate plants so you get better yields. Both of our beneficial insects today help in the garden by eating pest insects and one also helps to pollinate flowers. Today we discuss Beneficial Insects Rove Beetles and Fireflies
Beneficial Insects Rove Beetles
Rove Beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinida) are elongated in form with very short wings that can fly. The oldest known rove beetle goes back about 210-million years. They are predators of insects found in the soil and most emerge after sunset. They are usually found on the forest floor among leaf litter or under stones and around fresh water margins.
There are approximately 58,000 species in thousands of genera with over 1,500 known to live in North America, and the group is currently recognized as the largest family of beetles. They go through four stages in their lifecycle. The Egg, Larvae, Pupa, and Adult.
As a defense mechanism they tip up the abdomens (similar to scorpions), but this is just a scare tactic as they can’t really sting you. Some do release chemicals that can cause blisters if you handle them. Others are capable of biting and will do so if you piss it off.
Depending on species they may enjoy eating any of the following: mites, beetle larvae, aphids, small caterpillars, dead animals, dead insects, fungi, algae, plant based mulches, and/or fruit.
Beneficial Insects – Fireflies
Fireflies, or lightening bugs (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) are in the beetle family and the larvae are predators of slugs, snails, and worms. The adults eat nectar and pollen and some adults do not eat at all. By eating nectar and pollen they end up pollinating plants. The fireflies have what is known as a “cold light” because it does not produce any infrared or ultraviolet frequencies. They use this “cold light” to attract mates or to attract prey.
There are more than 2000 species. Some species are nocturnal (active at night) and some are diurnal (active during the day). Fireflies are distasteful to their prey and in some cases can be poisonous.
The female lays her eggs several days after mating and the larvae emerge a few weeks later and feeds for the remainder of the summer. After summer, they usually hibernate, sometimes by burrowing into the soil. They emerge in the spring, eat for a few weeks and pupate into adults. They only live briefly as adults, enough time to mate and start the life cycle over again.
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Beneficial Insects Rove Beetles and Fireflies
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