|Photo by Dr. Jerry Parsons|
While I haven't seen many of these in the past several years, they are not an uncommon or rare beetle. But, they sure seem to be having a little population explosion right now.
Soldier beetles are considered beneficial insects. Goldenrod leatherwings are both predatory and pollinators. They feed on small bodied insects, like aphids, maybe a whitefly or two, and others of the like. They are also known to feed on pollen and nectar, so they play a role in pollination. If you ask me, you couldn't find an insect with better qualities!