Insects Database
 Insects and other Arthropoda
 Beetles
 Soldier beetles
 Cantharis fusca
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 Cantharis pellucida
 Cantharis rufa
 Common red soldier beetle
 Malthinus seriepunctatus
 Rhagonycha elongata
 Rhagonycha translucida
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Beetle - common red soldier beetle - side face
Beetle - common red soldier beetle - side face


Soldier beetles
The soldier beetles (Cantharidae; synonym Chauliognathidae), also known as leatherwings, are a family in the order beetles (Coleoptera), the suborder Polyphaga and the superfamily Elateroidea. From the 4000 species which are found worldwide, around 100 are common in Central Europe. Some examples of species worldwide are : common red soldier beetle (Rhagonycha fulva), Rhagonycha lignosa, Cantharis fusca, Cantharis nigricans, Cantharis rustica, Cantharis livida, Cantharis rufa, Cantharis obscura, Malthinus biguttatus, Malthodes maurus and Malthinus flaveolus.
Common red soldier beetle banishing a wasp from a thistle
Common red soldier beetle banishing a wasp from a thistle
Adult soldier beetles reach body lengths of 1. 2 - 28 mm. Their bodies are long and mostly flat. Most species are strongly coloured with fine hair. The entire abdomen is covered by the wing covers (elytra ). Soldier beetles have long, slender legs.
Soldier beetle - Cantaris Obscura
Soldier beetle - Cantaris Obscura
Soldier beetles live in forests, fields, meadows and gardens, where they can be found on blossoms or leaves, often in groups. They are diurnal and feed on insects or parts of plants.
The larvae of soldier beetles have long, soft bodies, which are often a velvety dark colour. They live on and in the soil and feed on small insects, snails, worms, or parts of plants (young shoots or pollen). Soldier beetle larvae overwinter under rocks, leaves, moss or bark. On sunny winter days they can be observed crawling in the snow (snow worms).

Genera195
Species6.380
Common namesLeatherwings, Soldier beetles, Sailor beetles, Cantharids
German namesWeichkäfer, Soldatenkäfer
Dutch namesWeekschildkevers, Soldaatjes
Danish namesBlødvinger
Finnish namesSylkikuoriaiset
Norwegian namesBløtvinger
Swedish namesFlugbaggar
AuthorImhoff, 1856
Distribution
Checklists

Continents:

Eurasia
America
Africa
Oceania


Ecozones:

Palaearctic
Nearctic


Fossils:

Cenozoic
Paleozoic
Mesozoic


World Oceans:

Pacific Ocean


Countries
Checklists
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, USA, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe
Links and ReferencesCantharidae in bie.ala.org.au
Cantharidae in faunaeur.org
Cantharidae in itis.gov
Cantharidae in dyntaxa.se
Cantharidae in Wikipedia (English)

Further chapters of "soldier beetles"
- common red soldier beetle
- Cantharis fusca
- Rhagonycha elongata
- Cantharis rufa
- Cantharis obscura
- Cantharis pellucida
- Malthinus seriepunctatus
- Rhagonycha translucida
- Cantharis livida
Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Beetle - common red soldier beetle - side face
2. Common red soldier beetle banishing a wasp from a thistle
3. Soldier beetle - Cantaris Obscura
Quick search: Europe - Larvae - Cantharis - Beetle - Species - European
Larva - Soldier - Beetles - Adult - Gallery - Common - Red - Insects
Taxonomy
ClassInsecta
Insects, True insects
SubclassPterygota
Winged insects
InfraclassNeoptera
Wing-folding insects
SuperorderHolometabola
Holometabolous Insects
OrderColeoptera
Beetles, Coleopterans
SuborderPolyphaga
Polyphags
InfraorderElateriformia
SuperfamilyElateroidea
Click Beetles, Firefly Beetles, Soldier Beetles, Skipjack Beetles
FamilyCantharidae
Leatherwings, Soldier beetles, Sailor beetles, Cantharids
AuthorImhoff, 1856
 
Synonyms
Telephoridae (Leach, 1815)
 Species overview
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Keywords
ABCDEFGHIJKLM
NOPQRSTUVWXYZ
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