Soldier beetle

6879.      There is something eating the leaves of our potato plants, which are mulched with old dry straw. I put sticky traps and didn’t find anything. Then I saw this colourful beetle on a leaf. Could this be the culprit? Duncan, BC. Canada

Number 6879. This is a soldier beetle (Coleoptera: Cantharidae); they are predators on other insects and would not hurt your potatoes. Click here for an example.