|Soldier Beetles in Nottinghamshire|
|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,
The identification of individuals is not always easy, although with practice, many can be readily identified in the field. There are certain pitfalls when identifying any Soldier Beetle, but the purpose of showing them collectively here, is to create an awareness of the range of species found within most areas of the Nottinghamshire countryside. Most of the beetles in the following photographs, were identified through a combination of measurement of body length in the field and using photographs taken at the time to check markings and colouration.
per species and (as in most insects) there are also
variations within species. Most are easily found on long
grass, flower heads and other foliage. They are generally
conspicuous beetles and in the case of Rhagonycha
fulva, often sufficiently common enough to the point
of being abundant at any one site.
Cantharidae larvae live on the ground and are carnivorous, feeding on smaller insects. The adults are also carnivorous, but greatly attracted to flowers where they probably catch and eat other flower visiting insects.
|Photographed at Sherwood Forest, June 2007||Photographed at Sherwood Forest CP May 2008|
|Photographed at Warsop Main Pit Top June 2011||Photographed at Bradmer Hill June 2008|
|Photographed at Sherwood Forest May 2008||Photographed at Warsop Main Pit Top, June 2007|
nigricans (Müller, O.F., 1776)
|Photographed at Warsop Main Pit Top, June 2011||Photographed at Clipstone Old Quarter May 2006|
pellucida (Fabricius, 1792)
|Photographed at Clipstone Old Quarter May 2006||Photographed at Sherwood Forest May 2008|
thoracica (Olivier, 1790)
|Photographed at Eakring Meadows July 2009||Photographed at Sherwood Forest May 2007|
|Photographed at Sherwood Forest CP May 2008||Photographed at Sherwood Forest CPJuly 2008|
flaveolus (Herbst, 1786)
seriepunctatus (Kiesenwetter, 1852)
|Photographed at Sherwood Forest CP July 2008||Photographed at Caunton June 2009|
marginatus (Latreille, 1806)
|Photographed at Clipstone Old Quarter May 2011||Photographed at Eakring Meadows June 2010|
The list of Cantharidae shown in the table on the right, are known to have occurred in the county.
Source:- Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan - Appendix A: List of species of conservation concern in Nottinghamshire. S.Wright.
Endangered. Species which have shown a rapid
continuous decline over the last twenty years, and now
exist in 5 or fewer 10km squares of the national grid.
RDB2: Vulnerable. Species likely to move into RDB1 in the near future, as most or all populations are declining. Found in 15 or fewer 10km squares since 1980.
RDB3: Rare. Species with small populations which are localised or thinly scattered, but not at present qualifying for RDB1-2. Found in 15 or fewer 10km squares since 1980.
RDBK: Species believed to be rare but too recently discovered to be categorised easily.
RDBI: Red data book indeterminate. Species believed to be rare, but for which data on their distribution is insufficient to allow a grade to be assigned.
Na: Nationally Scarce Grade A. Recorded in 16-30 10km squares since 1980.
Nb: Nationally Scarce Grade B. Recorded in 31-100 10km squares since 1980.
p indicates a provisional status. As in all lists, a name in bold type indicates UK Long List.
[ ] indicates species which have not been recorded in the County since the publication of The Invertebrate Fauna of Nottinghamshire by J.W.Carr in 1916. It is believed that these species are likely to still be present.