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Soldier Beetle (Cantharis livida)

AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaColeopteraCantharidaeCantharisC. livida

In the phots here is one of the more difficult species to identify because it appears in two variations. Mostly seen is a light reddish yellow appearance. But quite often the dark reddish brown variation keeps popping up. In German the common name of this animal is therefore quite appropriate: the "variable soft-wing". The dark form looks like many other soft-wings, especially the Hogweed Bonking Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva). Yet the differences are not that difficult to distinguish. Cantharis livida has a black forhead, the legs change from red to black and while the Hogweed Bonking Beetle has the last part of the shields darkened, those of Cantharis livida are darker on the front.

This is a common species, and sometimes even abundant species in many parts of Britain and a very common to abundant species on the continent.
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