Length: 8-11 mm
This species is also known as the Margined Soldier Beetle.
West Virginia (and indeed the Northeastern U.S. generally) has two species of Leatherwing Beetles in the genus Chauliognathus. The first to appear each year is this one, Chauliognathus marginatus.
The Margined Leatherwing has a black and orange head, whereas the other species, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing, has a black head. The Margined Leatherwing has a broad black stripe on the pronotum, while the Pennsylvania Leatherwing has a black spot there.
The markings on the elytra of the Margined Leatherwings are variable. There may be a broad black stripe running the length of the elytra, or the broad stripe may be shorter and placed at the rear of the beetle, or in some cases (as at right) the elytral stripe is missing altogether.
While the Pennsylvania Leatherwing is usually found on Goldenrod, the preferred flowers of the adult Margined Leatherwing are Wild Hydrangea, New Jersey Tea, and Basswood.
More information about Chauliognathus pensylvanicus (which is pictured below):
Insects of West Virginia