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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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Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rufa)

Taxonomy
Kingdom:Phylum:Class:Order:Family:Genus:Species:
AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaColeopteraCantharidaeCantharisC. rufa


Cantharis rufa is another red species. It often looks like the red form of Cantharis livida a lot and sometimes one needs to examine the genitals to tell both species apart. But usually Cantharis rufa, with its length of 9 - 11 mm, is the smaller of the two. The shields do not begin in a dark colour and the black spot on the neck shield is either absent or much smaller than Cantharis livida's. Cantharis rufa is a wide spread species found all over Europe, including all of the British Isles and Ireland, Siberia and parts of Northern Asia, everywhere even beyond the Arctic Circle.

This species is larger than the similar C. cryptica and C. pallida - both of which are 7-8mm in length. Rhagonycha translucida lacks the blacks knees and has a pronotum that narrows towards the head.



Both adults and larvae are predatory. The adults often taking their prey on flowers, whilst larvae hunt on the ground.
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