Soldier beetle (Rhagonycha fulva)

loading
Soldier beetles
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Soldier beetle fact file

Soldier beetle description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderColeoptera
FamilyCantharidae
GenusRhagonycha (1)

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).

Also known as
bloodsucker.
Size
Length: 7 – 10 mm (2)
Top

Soldier beetle biology

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).

Top

Soldier beetle range

Very common throughout Britain and much of Europe (1) (2).

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
Top

Soldier beetle habitat

Occurs in a wide range of habitats including gardens and road verges (2).

Top

Soldier beetle status

Not threatened (2).

Top

Soldier beetle threats

This species is not threatened.

Top

Soldier beetle conservation

Conservation action is not required for this species.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
Top

Find out more

For more on invertebrates and their conservation see Buglife- the invertebrate conservation trust:
http://www.buglife.org.uk

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
Top

Glossary

Elytra
In beetles and earwigs, the hard fore wings. They are held aloft when the insect flies, and are often coloured or patterned.
Larvae
Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
Top

References

  1. National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (January2004): http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn
  2. Harde, K.W. (2000) Beetles. Silverdale Books, Leicester.
  3. Chinery. M. (1993) Insects of Britain and Northern Europe. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, London.
X
Close

Image credit

Soldier beetles  
Soldier beetles

© Gordon Maclean / gettyimages.com

Getty Images
101 Bayham Street
London
NW1 0AG
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 800 376 7981
sales@gettyimages.com
http://www.gettyimages.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Soldier beetle (Rhagonycha fulva) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog RSS