Closer View of Banded Net-winged Beetle
The banded net-winged beetle, Calopteron discrepans, is a colorful black and orange and commonly found resting on vegetation in moist woods throughout much of the eastern United States from New England south to Florida and west to Oklahoma and Kansas. The adults range in length from approximately 3/8-5/8" (10-15 mm). Males are smaller than females. The front wings (elytra) on most beetles are hardened and they cover and protect the hind wings and abdomen; however, net-winged beetles have soft, leathery elytra. It is speculated that their bright coloration is provides a warning to predators that these beetles are not good to eat. Adults are active during the day and they feed on decaying plant material, and occasionally on other insects. The larvae are predaceous and consume a wide range of prey including insects, slugs, sowbugs, and millipedes. Thus, net-winged beetles are considered beneficial insects. I love finding evidence of all the beneficial insects our wildlife habitat has attracted since we don't use chemicals and pesticides.