Soldier Beetle

There are a number of species of Soldier Beetle found in the UK, and the species pictured is known as Cantharis rustica. It typically measures between 9 and 12.5mm in length and has a distcinct dark blotch in the middle of its red thorax. This species favours areas of long grass and open woodland.

Soldier Beetles feed on both nectar and pollen as well as predating other small insects. The larvae are like velvety caterpillars and they feed on the ground, hunting snails and other small creatures.

This specimen was photographed on the Village Green in May 2016. Soldier Beetles are normally found from early May to July.