Name: Soldier Beetle
Scientific name: Cantharis spp.
Nature Stars: 30
About: A large narrow beetle, about 1.5cm long with longish antennae and various combinations of red, black and orange in colour. A common beetle to be found on flowers such as cow parsley and hogweed during the summer. Found in grassland, woodland, along hedgerows and in parks and gardens. Adults feed on aphids, and also eat pollen and nectar.
How to identify: There are 15 very similar species of Cantharis soldier beetle in Brtain. All are similar in shape, and various combiations of black, red and orange.
Fantastic fact: They were names for the bright red and black colour, reminding people of soldiers' uniforms.
Photograph credit: Les Binns