Classification Coleoptera Family: Cantharidae
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Early May to July
Identification / Description
A common Cantharid - Soldier beetle has a red thorax and legs with black or grey wing cases.-elytra. The black 'mask' on the head is a useful identification feature giving a gooled eyed appearance Common visitors to open-structured flowers such as like, hawthorn, the daisy family or carrot family, such as angelica, where they feed both on nectar and pollen. They may also prey on other insects which visit the flowers.
Soldier beetles have a soft structure compared with other beetles. The larvae resemble small velvety caterpillars and are found at the base of long grass. Adults live a few weeks only , in late May and early June.
Predatory on other flower-visiting insects and will also take nectar and pollen. The larvae will predate on ground- dwelling invertebrates, including slugs and snails
Hedgerows and meadows. Often found on open flowers for example Hawthorn and umbellifers where they feed on both nectar and pollen as well as predating other small insects.
D3133 IMAGES (C) 2008 COLIN DUKE
D3135 IMAGES (C) 2008 COLIN DUKE
D3137 IMAGES (C) 2008 COLIN DUKE