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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

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Cantharis obscura / Cantharis paradoxa

Taxonomy
Kingdom:Phylum:Class:Order:Family:Genus:Species:
AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaColeopteraCantharidaeCantharisC. obscura/C.paradoxa


Another typical Sailor Beetle (black Soldier Beetle) is Cantharis obscura. In order to identify it pay attention to the fact that it is all black, except for the edges of the neck shield which are red or orange or yelloworange. You can see all the three variations of the colouring of the neck shield in the photographs on this page. Alas there are two identical species around, which can only be told apart by examining their genitals: Cantharis obscura and Cantharis paradoxa. The larvae live in oak mainly, but are often found in orchards as well. They may be harmful to the trees, when there are a lot them. But not only do they eat fresh leaves, they hunt for aphids and other small insects as well. Once adult they measure some 9 to 13 mm. in length. The adults have the same diet as the larvae have. both species are common all over Europe, including Scotland.



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