This soldier beetle called the ‘bloodsucker’ in some areas because of its bright red colouration. It is the most common soldier beetle in Britain, and is typically seen on large flower heads, often in mating pairs (2). Soldier beetles are elongated beetles that have soft bodies. The red wing cases (elytra) are covered with short downy hair and are black at the tips (3). The common name of the group, soldier beetle has arisen as a result of most members of the family being red and black in colour (3).
The adults are seen from late June to August and occasionally survive into September (2). Although typically seen on flower heads, this beetle is carnivorous and feeds on other insects that visit the flowers (3). It is often seen in pairs because copulation takes a relatively long time (2). The ground-dwelling larvae are also carnivorous (3).
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