Soldier Beetle (Cantharidae)

(Category Beetles)

The family of the Cantharidae is represented in Europe by 103 Species in 9 genera. They are called "Soldier Beetles" because several species (especially the genus "Cantharis") have red colored heads and black wing cases (Elytra). On the other hand there are also several species that do not have an eye-catching coloring and still belong to this family. The main characteristic of the Cantharidae is that their wing case is very soft and contains little chitin. The adult beetle (imago) feeds on blossoms, occasionally on dead insects and can often be encountered on blossoms, bushes, gras or hedges.
The larva overwinters under moss or fallen leafs and can sometimes be found in the snow looking for food.

Here are some pictures of members of the Cantharidae family:
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(Click on an image to enlarge it)