Living on the Edge - Red Soldier Beetle
|Copyright: Morag Hamilton (lebois)
|Date Taken: 2006-06-23|
|Exposure: f/2.8, 30 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2006-08-25 8:36|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|I found this very small beetle (about 1cm)on my sweet Chestnut trees. There were quite a few of them amongst the pollen mostly in pairs.|
I have identified it as - The Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva) which is a species out of the family of the soldier Beetles (Cantharidae).
This very common soldier beetle has a red body, with orange wing cases with black tips and black antennae. The Common Red Soldier Beetles will grow up to a centimeter. The body is flat and elongated. The Chitin armour is very soft, resulting in the German name of this species as soft beetle. The black thread like antenna are also relatively long. The equally long legs have an orange colour, only at the end they become notably darker.
These beetles are frequent visitors to very open-structured flowers such as daisies or members of the carrot family eg hogweed and angelica. Here, they feed on nectar and pollen but also prey on other insects which are visiting the flowers and spend much of their time mating.
Soldier beetles are very soft-bodied compared with other beetles. After the fairly extensive copulation the females will lay it's eggs. The larvae resemble small velvety caterpillars and live at the base of long grass. They are soil dwellers and hunt for snails and insects. After a year and several molts the larvae will become a pupae and then a fully grown beetle.
The adults of this species are found in just a few weeks of summer in late July and early August.
This beetle is very common within Europe and areas of south west Asia.
Photo cropped, levels ajusted slightly, resized, sharpened and framed.
SkyF, blakitan has marked this note useful
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- [2006-08-25 10:38]
this is a very nice close up. Great sharp details and wonderful colors. Nice POV and great nice OOF background.
Nicely capturing this beetle;
Sharp, nice details;
Nice blurry BG;