Playing At Soldiers

Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva)
Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva)

There were lots of these out in the fields. It is also called the ‘bloodsucker’ because of its distinct appearance. Note the dark tips on the wing cases. They feed on aphids and other insects, also pollen and nectar, and can be quite beneficial when they pay a visit to your garden. The adults live for the summer only, which they spend feeding and mating.

Of note, there are around 40 species of soldier beetle in the UK, and why are they called soldier beetles, you may wonder? Because many of them display red and black markings resembling a soldier’s uniform.

Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer.


July 2019, local field margin, South Staffordshire, England. Β© Pete Hillman.

16 thoughts on “Playing At Soldiers

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  1. Fantastic picture! I like these beetles. They always remind me of my childhood, when there were plenty of them. Nowadays I have to look out for them. It is funny, at the moment we seem to see the same insects. I saw these beetles last week together with the Marbled white. I am curious what comes next πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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