The soldier beetles are a small group of attractive beetles, so-called because their smart colours are reminiscent of an old-fashioned soldier’s uniform. They are active predators, hunting on flowers and leaves in sunny weather, looking for small insects. They can fly well at times, though tend not to. They occur commonly in rough, flowery places such as woodland magins and glades, hedgerows & scrub and are widespread throughout most of Britain & Europe, except the far north.
Common Red Soldier Beetle–Rhagonycha fulva
Size: Body length 12-16mm
Description: Head and thorax rust-red, elytra shading to a dark base.
Habitat: Often seen on umbellifer flowers such as hogweed & cow parsley. They make short flights between plants.
When to see them: Adults are seen mostly during July & August
Food: Small insects & other invertebrates, also nectar & pollen.
Behaviour: Scurry over flowers and leaves of plants hunting for small prey. They are often found as mating pairs.