Saturday, July 08, 2006

Friend or Foe?

Post update: Friend! These appear to be Soldier Beetles, Family Cantharidae, also known as Leatherwing Beetles. Thanks Angela, of Angela's Northern California Garden Blog. According to the link she left me, soldier beetles prey upon aphids, caterpillars, grasshopper eggs and beetle larvae, among other insects around the garden. How to attract: Since some soldier beetles feed on nectar, you may be able to attract them with flowering plants. (Parsley nectar seems to be quite agreeable to them.)
What are these bugs that like to hang out on the parsley? They don't seem to damage the parsley, but will I regret having them around later?


Angela said...

For some reason, I can't enlarge the first picture... but to me they look like leatherwing beetles, a.k.a. Soldier beetles. They're good guys! Here's a link that might help you decide: Leatherwing Beetle

Petunia's Gardener said...

Thanks, Angela! I think you are right. They come in various markings which includes the markings on these guys. They are also described as lightning bugs without the light. That is what they remind me of.
It's good they are a friend as there are many of them.