Is this a good bug or a bad bug?

grow_power(9 CA, SF Bay)April 21, 2012

These guys all of sudden appeared all over my garden ever since our rains stopped. Does anyone know what they are? Are they good or bad?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

One of some million beetles of which something like about 8,000 are considered pests.
What are they doing? Are they damaging plants? Very probably good identification could be made quicker at your county office of the University of California Cooperative Extension service.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC CES

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 7:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

man i swear thats a lightning bug...

but i claim no expertise ... and i cant see its glowing butt ... and if i had not seen one yesterday.. a month early .. it would not have triggered ...

put one in a jar.. and flick a lighter at it at night ... and .. they tend to continually climb to the top of the jar.. no matter how many times you turn it over...

otherwise.. what he said ...

do you have them in SF???

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Looks like one of the soldier beetles, also called downy leather wing beetles. If so, both the adults and larvae would be considered beneficials. You might be able to get an absolutely positive ID at the extension office.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grow_power(9 CA, SF Bay)

looks like solider beetle is the winner! They turn out to be very close relatives of the lightning bug, so Ken, you weren't too far off either. I have about 50 of them on my fava beans, which is good because they are also covered in aphids. Go solider beetles!

http://bugguide.net/node/view/409325/bgpage

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm glad the mystery is solved...a good group effort by all. By the way, grow power...just for the sake of YOU being correct...it's spelled "soldier", pronounced just like the military word. I 'd guess that they have that nickname because of the work they do controlling the 'enemy'.

Ken...you've really seen lightning bugs, already? That's incredible. I haven't spotted any down here, yet. I'll have to sit outside tonight and see what I've been missing.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you aint kidding.. its seems a month or two early ... mind you.. not lighting .. one just landed near me and kiddo ...

now.. we could be wrong.. as they look .. to me.. JUST LIKE THIS BUG .. we do not claim to be intimate with our bugs.. like some of you freaks.. lol ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 8:11AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Tomato disease
My tomato is under attack. It looks like both insects...
garf_gw
sick chaya tree
There is a crack on the lower part of the trunk and...
jane2014_ec
Lilac Concerns
My lilac plant is... frying? ... Lives in zone 8a One...
kricsten
A rabbit! Argh!
Of all the problems I expected in a suburban dessert,...
deserthawk
sudden black stains on indoor plant with insects
These black stains appeared suddenly on an indoor plant....
patriiiiiiiiiick
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™