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Cantharis fusca - Soldier beetle
Cantharis fusca - Soldier beetle

Cantharis fusca
Cantharis fusca is a species in the order beetles (Coleoptera), the suborder Polyphaga, the infraorder Elateriformia, the superfamily Elateroidea (synonym Cantharoidea), the family soldier beetles (Cantharidae, synonym Telephoridae), the subfamily Cantharinae, the tribe Cantharini, and the genus Cantharis. Cantharis fusca are widespread and common in large parts of Europe.
Soldier beetle - Cantharis fusca
Soldier beetle - Cantharis fusca
Adult Cantharis fusca reach body lengths of 11 - 15 mm. Their bodies are black and orange in colour, flat and elongated, and their exoskeleton is weak.
The head is orange-red at the front. The antennae are long and threadlike and the first 3 segments are brownish red. The other segments are black. The mouthparts (mandibles) are red in colour, as also as parts of the neck. The front part of the chest is orange on the upper surface (neck plate). There is a black spot in the middle of the chest that can run right up to the front or rear edge.
The abdomen is long and flat and predominantly orange in colouron the upper surface and sides. The underside is black and only orange at the outer edges. The wing covers are black. They are finely haired which makes them appear lightly powdered. The legs are relatively long and also hairy. Their outer surface is black in colour and the inner surface is orange. Cantharis fusca can be confused with other soldier beetles (eg Cantharis annularis, Cantharis pellucida and Cantharis rustica).
Cantharis fusca are found from May to June at all altitudes up to 2000 metres. They live in forest edges, in hedge rows, and in meadows and fields. They are diurnal and usually sit on plants (grasses, herbaceous plants and shrubs) or flowers, in order to feed on small insects (living or dead aphids). Occasionally Cantharis fusca eat the young sprouts of the oak tree), or buds, leaves and nectar and pollen from various other plants.

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Cantharis fusca - Soldier beetle
2. Soldier beetle - Cantharis fusca
Sources, links and more informations
Cantharis_fusca in Wikipedia
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