Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Beetles"
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Subject: Weird Bug
Location: Norfolk, United Kingdom
May 30, 2015 3:33 am
I found this weird bug in my tent at about 9:00 AM in the morning.
It looks like a soldier beetle, but doesn’t match all it’s features.
Any ideas?
Is it possible to breed/raise them?
I run a bug zoo, and I raise woodlice, caterpillars, house spiders, maggots, snails, crickets, etc, so this will be a good addition to it.
Sorry about the blurry pix – I was trying to use a USB Microscope on it!
Thanks,
Alex

Soldier Beetle

Soldier Beetle

Hi Alex,
We agree this looks like a Soldier Beetle.  A recent posting was identified as
Cantharis rusticaWe have no information on raising them in captivity.

 

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Subject: What is this bug?
Location: London
May 23, 2015 12:22 pm
Hi – my little boy is studying bugs and discovered the attached and asked me what it was???!
Can you help?
Signature: J

Soldier Beetle

Soldier Beetle

Dear J,
This is a Soldier Beetle in the family Cantharidae, and according to Eakring Birds:  “There are about 40 UK species of Soldier Beetles which belong to the Cantharidae family of beetles. Many species are common in Nottinghamshire and are a frequent sight on thistles and umbelliferous flowers during the Summer months. Some of the red Cantharidae beetles, were often commonly referred to by schoolboys as Bloodsuckers. They are however, completely harmless.”
  The image at the top of the page looks the most like your individual, but alas, it is not identified.  The Micropics site has images of Cantharis nigricans that look like a good match to your individual.

Thank you so much!! My son is thrilled

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Subject: On my tickseed plants?
Location: North pittsburgh pa
August 20, 2014 1:42 pm
I just noticed these on my tickseeds today…august 20… I love in southwestern pa. Can you please identify ?
Signature: Mike

Goldenrod Soldier Beetles Mating

Goldenrod Soldier Beetles Mating

Hi Mike,
As the common name Goldenrod Soldier Beetle implies, this species feeds on the pollen of goldenrod and other fall blossoms that produce copious amounts of pollen.

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Subject: Household beetle in Cleveland
Location: Cleveland, OH
June 2, 2014 8:24 pm
We have found several of these guys crawling in one end of our house over the past couple of weeks. Some of them will fly. They look like longhorn beetles but I’ve never seen one in person. Am I correct?
Thanks!
Signature: Phil

Soldier Beetle

Soldier Beetle

Dear Phil,
This is some species of Soldier Beetle, perhaps
Cantharis livida pictured on BugGuide, or Cantharis rufa, also pictured on BugGuide, or a closely related species.

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Subject: Insect from Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica
January 3, 2014 7:08 pm
Dear Bugman,
I photographed this guy in Costa Rica, at about 1000 m elevation. Can you help me to identify it? Thank you!
Signature: Frank

Unknown Beetle

Deformed Soldier Beetle

Hi Frank,
Depending upon how specific you would like our answer to be, we may or may not have an answer for you.  This is a Beetle, a member of the insect order Coleoptera, the largest group of insects in the world.  Beyond that, we cannot be certain.  It appears that this beetle has deformed elytra, and we are not certain if that is a characteristic of this particular species, or if this is a deformed individual that did not develop correctly.  We are favoring the latter possibility, which might greatly complicate its identification if it does not resemble other members of its species due to the deformity.  It also appears to be a soft bodied beetle, without the hard elytra or wing covers that is a characteristic of most beetles.  We are guessing this individual is likely in the superfamily Elateroidea.  It resembles the Net-Winged Beetles in the family Lycidae and you can compare your specimen to this Golden Net-Wing pictured on BugGuide. as an example of how a “typical” family member looks.  The light tip on the abdomen might suggest bioluminescence and could mean your beetle is a Firefly in the family Lampyridae.  Your beetle also shares some characteristics of the Soldier Beetles in the family Cantharidae.  There is much more diversity in the tropics and there are also many poorly documented species as well as undocumented species in the tropics.  Our main source of information is the internet, and many organisms are poorly represented on the internet.  We tried a web search of “red beetle Costa Rica” and most of the images produced by google were not even beetles.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a more specific answer for you.

Eric Eaton provides an identification
Daniel:
Yes, it is a soldier beetle, family Cantharidae.
Eric

Do you agree it is either deformed or hasn’t had the wings fully expand after metamorphosis?

Yes, probably a bad molt.
Eric

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Subject: Catalina Island bug- what is this?
Location: Catalina Island, CA- west beach
May 6, 2013 7:47 pm
My son and I just came back from an Indian Guides campout on Catalina Island. My son found an insect on the beach that he loved. Broke his heart to put it back on the sand. This week is insect week at his school and he has to pick an insect to report on. We would love to use the one from Catalina but we have no idea what it is. Help Please.
Signature: Curious Dad

Brown Leatherwing

Brown Leatherwing

Dear Curious Dad,
Normally as the most commonly liked posting on our site states, What’s That Bug? will not do your Child’s Homework, but we liked the earnestness of your request, so we will point you in the right direction, and let you do the research.  This is a Brown Leatherwing,
Pacificanthia consors, and it is a common Southern California sighting in May because this Soldier Beetle is often attracted to lights.  We are quite fond of this predatory species since we are located in Southern California in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Mount Washington, so there are numerous postings on our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination