Soldier Beetle: Cantharis livida

One of the soldier beetles it may be but Cantharis livida does not have a bright military uniform nor does it come in armies! It is, of course, related to the much more common 'bloodsucker' beetle that can be found in hordes during the summer months on umbel flowers and thistles, but is much less common although widespread across much of the country. It is a little bigger than the 'bloodsucker and less colourful.
Cantharis livida is an insect that favours shrubby grassland and open countryside where it hunts small insects on flower heads and leaves. Its larvae are predators too, feeding on the ground on snails and earthworms. The adult beetle can be seen from April through until August but they are at their peak in June and July.

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