Cantharis pellucida


This common 'soldier beetle' has a red thorax and legs with black or grey elytra. The black 'mask' on its head gives it a rather goggle-eyed look.

Identification difficulty

Hedgerows and meadows. They are frequently found on open flowers such as Hawthorn and umbellifers where they feed on both nectar and pollen as well as predating other small insects.

When to see it

Early May to July

Life History

The larvae are like velvety caterpillars and they feed on the ground, hunting snails and other small creatures.

UK Status

Common throughout most of Britain

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 73 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map