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Soldier beetle - Cantharis rustica
Family - Cantharidae
Also known as Bloodsuckers

One of several Cantharis beetles, the Soldier beetle is the most common.  Attaining a length of 9-13mm (0.35-0.5in) it has shiny black elongated elytra, red and black femora, a distinctly red pronotum with a heart shaped central black spot, and black antennae of eleven segments of which the bottom two or three are orange.

It is covered in fine hairs.  It can be found in fields and grasslands with tall grasses that have been left to go to seed, and open woodlands from May to July.  It is common throughout England and Wales and is a predator hunting mainly on flowers.

Soldier beetle - Cantharis rustica, click for a larger image
On Bramble
Soldier beetle - Cantharis rustica, click for a larger image
On Wild Carrot
Soldier beetle - Cantharis rustica, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse CCASA3.0
Photo ©2013 Magnefl

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Soldier beetle - Cantharis rustica, click for a larger image Soldier beetle - Cantharis rustica, click for a larger image Soldier beetle - Cantharis rustica, click for a larger image
Soldier beetles on Wild Carrot

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