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Soldier Beetle

Soldier Beetle (Source: CSIRO Science Image)

Soldier Beetles (Chauliognathus lugubris) have been found in Knox's parks and gardens since 2011, arriving in large numbers during the Summer months.

The beetles are approximately 14mm long and have an elongated, flattened body with a yellow-orange band behind the head. The head and wing case are dark green-black and the body is yellow-orange.

They are often mistaken for bees or wasps due to the colour of their underbelly, but they are not harmful so Council does not take action to control them.

The beetles generally disappear after 1-2 days.

The good news for gardeners is that Soldier Beetles are a beneficial insect as they attack the harmful insects that are attracted to nectar.

They are also very effective as a biological control of aphids, grasshopper eggs and caterpillars.

The beetle swarms usually occur in Spring and Summer. Research indicates the sizes of the swarms are influenced by rainfall followed by high daily temperatures.'

The life expectancy of a Soldier Beetle is two to three months, with breeding occurring once a year.

Soldier Beetle image source: CSIRO Science Image

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