Bug with Reddish Brown Markings on Back Could be a Common Red Soldier Beetle

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“I’m wondering what kind of bug this is”, states this reader about the little, brownish insect pictured below. “It looks more like a soft-winged flower beetle. I think it has six legs total, although it is hard to see from the pictures. I live in the state of New York if that helps. I also have a Poinsettia plant in my room and several papers scattered around my desk area near where I found it. I know this site is mostly about worms but I was hoping you can help me identify it.”

Based on the context our reader provided, as well as the photo, it is clear that this is indeed some type of beetle. Whether or not it is a soft-winged flower beetle is hard to say. The pictures our reader provided were not all that clear – the one above was the most detailed. One can tell that it is some sort of brown or reddish color, with what appears to be circular markings on each of its wings. The soft-winged flower beetle is distinctly black with a striped bottom, and some pictures of them show them with bright red markings. On top of that, they have long, thin bodies, as opposed to the stout, ovate creature we see in the photo above. So, with all of that said, the beetle our reader found does not exactly match the description of a soft-winged flower beetle.

Moving on, we considered the possibility of this being a common red soldier beetle, considering its brownish-red coloration and the markings on its back. These creatures are often referred to as blood suckers, but this is only due to their red color, and not because they actually suck blood. These critters are completely and utterly harmless. They feed on aphids (tiny insects that feed on sap), and their larvae feed on the larvae of other insects. So, if the bug our reader found is a red soldier beetle, it will not have gone into his home because of his Poinsettia plant, given the carnivorous nature of its species.

However, if it is indeed a soft-winged beetle, then it makes sense for it to have been near the flower, as these beetles feed on the nectar of flowers. Of course, there are other nectar-feeding beetles as well. To check if it is one, our reader can always observe the beetle and see if it moves onto his plant to eat. Otherwise, we just recommend gently moving the beetle outside. After all, it likely ended up in his apartment accidentally.

To conclude, we are not sure if this beetle is a soft-winged flower beetle as our reader suggested, or if it is a red soldier beetle, or if it is some other species. In any case, beetles are not harmful to humans, so our reader need not worry. We hope this helps and we wish him the very best!

 

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Summary
Bug with Reddish Brown Markings on Back Could be a Common Red Soldier Beetle
Article Name
Bug with Reddish Brown Markings on Back Could be a Common Red Soldier Beetle
Description
"I'm wondering what kind of bug this is", states this reader about the little, brownish insect pictured below. "It looks more like a soft-winged flower beetle. I think it has six legs total, although it is hard to see from the pictures.
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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