Meet the Neighbors: Colorado Soldier Beetle

For the introduction to this series, see here.

Soldier beetles are colorful beetles that can be found on flower heads in late summer and fall. There are many species wildly distributed across the US. Many of them have beautiful orange, yellow, or red coloration. They are called soldier beetles because their bright coloration made people think of the uniforms of British soldiers. Their colors make them fit in well with the colors of the season. We may think that these colors are beautiful but for potential predators, the orange and black are a warning signal. The soldier beetles have chemicals in their bodies that make them very unpleasant to eat. Unless you are trying to eat them, these insects are good to have around. They are late summer pollinators and their larvae feed on the eggs of garden pests.

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