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Canada's Species   Insects

Soldier Beetles

Family Cantharidae

Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus. Photo:Stephanie Boucher
Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus. Photo:Stephanie Boucher

The adults feed on nectar and pollen or on other insects, such as aphids. Most larvae are predaceous on other insects, mostly soft-bodied insects like caterpillars, and also on insect eggs. A few species are omnivorous and feed on wheat, potatoes, celery and other vegetables.The adults are common on flowers of goldenrod, on basswood, and catalpa tree blooms. They are also common on vegetation along the edges of water bodies. Cantharidae are elongated and soft-bodied beetles. The elytra (modified front wings that protect the hind wings) are often yellow, orange or red and covered with short hairs. The head is visible from above, unlike some similar families.

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