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Soldier Beetles (Cantharidae)

Soldier Beetles are also called Soft-winged beetles, because of the softness of their shields. When you look at them vertically you can see that the soldier beetles are called that way because they really do remind one of old fashioned soldier uniforms. There are over 50 species in the Low Countries. Many species are very similar and therefore difficult to tell apart. Often you can find them sunbasking on flowers. The adults eat other insects. In some casese they hunt for prey, but most eat animals that are already dead. The larvae hunt for snails, slugs and worms on the ground, even though there are some vegetarians among them.

photograph Rhagonycha fulva
Hogweed Bonking Beetle Rhagonycha fulva

The Hogweed Bonking Beetle is often seen mating on umbellifers. more...

photograph Cantharis decipiens
Cantharis decipiens

Cantharis decipiens is a smaller nephew of the Hogwood Bonking Beetle. more...

photograph Cantharis livida
Cantharis livida

Cantharis livida comes in two colours: yellowish and reddish. more...

photograph Cantharis rufa
Cantharis rufa

Cantharis rufa is just one of the red Soldier Beetles. more...

photograph Cantharis pellucida
Cantharis pellucida

Cantharis pellucida is just one of the Sailor Beetles. more...

photograph Cantharis obscura
Cantharis obscura / Cantharis paradoxa

Cantharis obscura and Cantharis paradoxa are almost entirely black. more...

photograph Common Soldier Beetle
Common Soldier Beetle Cantharis fusca

The beginning of the antennae of the Common Soldier Beetle is reddish, just like the rear end of the body. more...

photograph Grey Sailor Beetle
Grey Sailor Beetle Cantharis nigricans

All legs of the Grey Sailor Beetle are reddish, except for the hind legs. more...

photograph Malthininae species
Malthininae species

There are over 15 Malthininae species looking like this. They can't be identified from just pictures. more...

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This page has last been modified on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.
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