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 BeetleRhagonycha fulva

27/7/11-tgnw-Little Orme

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.

20/11/tgnw-Bryn Euryn-feeding on hogweed

22/7/11-tgnw-mating pair-Little Orme






Behaviour: Scurry over flowers and leaves of plants hunting for small prey. They are often found as mating pairs.




2 responses to “Beetles

  1. theresa–
    great effort in sharing your local natural history. perhaps you would also enjoy the work of southern french entomologist, jean henri fabre, who observed and wrote of many species you may be familiar with! though he flourished a hundred and more years ago, his diligence while ‘on watch’, and his faithfulness in describing the habits of these little lives preserves and maintains for him a reputation unmatched for fidelity of detail and affection for subject. great “soul food” for the likes of us! God bless your interest in His inspired world…


  2. Thank you Thom, I know of Jean Henri Fabre and have a copy of ‘Fabre’s Book of Insects’, which I love. My favourite descriptions are of the dung beetles and the cicadas. Best wishes, Theresa


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