Cantharis rufa


Length 9 - 11 mm. This soldier beetle is largely all orange but sometimes there is a black mark on the pronotum which is quite square looking and doesn't reach to the front border (extending just over half way). The legs may be be pale or dark but with contrasting 'knees' in both cases.

Similar Species

This species is larger than the similar Cantharis cryptica and C. pallida - both of which are 7-8mm in length. Rhagonycha translucida lacks the blacks knees and has a pronotum that narrows towards the head.

Identification difficulty

Flower meadows and well vegetated areas.

When to see it

Late spring and summer.

Life History

Both adults and larvae are predatory. The adults often taking their prey on flowers, whilst larvae hunt on the ground.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in England and Wales, with most Scottish records being from coastal areas.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 52 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