Red Yucca Soldier Beetle South of Fountain feeding on yucca flower pollen
A close, non-light producing relative of fireflies, soldier beetles have soft wing covers. Primarily observed later in the season around August and September, Soldier beetle adults feed mostly on the pollen of flowers; however, they may also consume aphids and other soft-bodied insects when they are available. Larvae of all species of soldier beetles live in the soil and feed on insects. Due to their insect feeding habits and pollination of flowers as they feed, soldier beetles are typically considered as being beneficial insects within gardens. Yellow-colored flowers are a favorite of many soldier beetles. Dozens of species of soldier beetles are found within Colorado including the goldenrod soldier beetles and red yucca soldier beetles. Colors vary by species although several include red and black color patterns. Soldier beetles rarely enter homes and structures and rarely necessitate control methods due to their beneficial aspects. Goldenrod soldier beetles are commonly seen coupled as they feed on flower pollen.