Subject: Beneficial or pest
Geographic location of the bug: Central Florida
Time: 11:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Its May and I’ve seen this bug on my black eyed Susan and also on basil, tough I cannot see any leaf damage. It seems just to be resting on leaves and flowers but not actively eating leaf nor bug. What is it?
How you want your letter signed: Omar
This is a Tumbling Flower Beetle in the family Mordellidae and based on this BugGuide image, we are confident the species is Mordella knulli. Of the family, BugGuide states: “Larvae are believed to eat plant material in decaying wood, etc. Some are leaf and stem miners. Some are predaceous. Adults visit flowers.” Based on that, we would say it is beneficial, though benign might be a better term.