Each autumn my cockscomb plumes are covered with these insects mating for a couple of weeks. There doesn’t seem to be any damage to the plants and they don’t sting people. They have an elongated shape, yellow with black spots.
This is the goldenrod soldier beetle.
They do feed on nectar of flowers and are very common in the fall…especially on goldenrod but also many other flowers.
The larvae of this beetle are predators in mostly woodland areas…so they are beneficial in that they feed on other insects.
They are found thru out central and eastern North America.