As I was strolling the garden along the walkway to the front door, I saw a bright red bug that certainly stood out even though it was the size of a lightning bug. I had my camera so I took a photo being more concerned about it flying away than getting a good exposure on the photograph.
|© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Golden Net-Winged Beetle|
I'd like to know how it got the name "Golden" Net-Winged Beetle when it's obviously bright red, not golden. The red coloration is used to show predators that it is not at all tasty. Their forewings are often soft and covered in a net-like, reticulate texture, thus the common name. They are closely related to fireflies, but don't have the glowing bottoms, and are also related to Soldier Beetles and the Banded Net-Winged Beetle which I have found in our garden on Poke Weed.
These adult beetles sometimes feed on nectar and pollen from flowering plants. It was on our Heritage Chrysanthemums that were budding but not in bloom. The larvae inhabit the soil and leaf litter or decaying wood where they are thought to be predators and/or feed on fungus. As you know we've had masses of fungus this year with all the mushrooms I've photographed in our yard and backwoods.
So, the conclusion is that it's a good bug since it adds beauty to the garden and in no way harms it.
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