Two Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetles mating on a cosmos flower.
We plant cosmos (among other flowers that help gardeners with nasty predators) around our vegetable garden every year to attract the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle (Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus). They showed up in force last week, in the nick of time! A day earlier, I noticed aphids in our green beans. Three days later the aphids were nowhere to be seen; they were all eaten up!
These sap sucking insects I found in my green beans (aphids!) are members of the “superfamily Aphidy oidea,” which farmers and gardeners have been cussing about for eons. Honestly, they can destroy a garden rather quickly!
This versatile insect, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle (PLB), is a gardener’s best friend, and it is also the inspiration for this week’s haiku. Enjoy!