Cantharis livida (Soldier Beetle sp.)


Cantharis livida is a species of soldier beetle belonging to the family Cantharidae.
Cantharis livida is a species that is often difficult to identify, because it occurs in two colour variations. 
If it has a yellowish color it is rather easy to recognize, but the brown-red form resembles a number of other species, such as the Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva), which, like Cantharis livida, also occurs throughout almost all of Europe.
Yet the difference is clearly visible: Cantharis livida has a black spot on the head behind the eyes (can be very small), the legs start red, but gradually become black, and the elytra (wing cases) start out dark, but never end in a black point.
Rhagonycha fulva has black-red elytra, except at the end where they are almost entirely black. 
Rhagonycha fulva's legs are also red, except for the feet: they are black.

These soldier beetles can be found on flowers, trees and shrubs from May to July, hunting for small insects.
Also the larvae are predators, feeding om snails and earthworms.

Eagle Gorge, Dedoplistskaro area, Georgia, 8 May 2024

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