In my minor state of panic, I finally figured out they are Soldier Beetles. Apparently they are desired by gardeners, they do not harm plants, but eat insects. However, one of the things they eat are caterpillars. I planted butterfly bushes on purpose... I don't want ugly beetles to eat my future butterflies. ???
@Michelle Powers keep the butterfly plants away from liatris (the one in photo) and keep an eye on butterfly weeds, etc for these beetles. take them off with tweezers and pitch them into a weed patch. I don't think butterfly are a food plant for caterpillars so you probably won't finid caterpillers on them . there is a web site called butterfly ranch, they ahve lots of info on butterflys, especially monarchs.
They are fire flies or lighting bugs. They do like my fennel herb plant very much and of course, I welcome them cuz we do enjoy watching them at night time.
Soldier beetles do far more good than harm, Michelle. I think you should be glad you have them.
Look like lightning bugs to me.
Not lightening bugs. Soldier beetles for sure!
lightning bugs don't even look anything like this.
These might be what is on my Phlox. I thought they were Boxelder beetles, and eating them. I was going to try to find something to kill them, glad I saw this. I need to do some research and see if they are for sure.
Hmmm a Gold Bug? I think anything Gold is GOOD..but ask Edgar Allen Poe to be sure. Muahahahaha muhahahaha (evil laugh)
Thank goodness you have posted it.... I don't like beetles because they are creepy, ugly and scary... But at least I know that this one is a good guy and I can just shiver and than leave it be....
It's a soldier beetle. Information from Iowa State on its benefits. And, it does look like a lightening bug.