Soldier beetle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Cantharidae)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Soldier beetle
Chauliognathus lugubris.jpg
Chauliognathus lugubris
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Elateriformia
Superfamily: Elateroidea
Family: Cantharidae
Imhoff, 1856


The soldier beetles (Cantharidae) are relatively soft-bodied, straight-sided beetles. They are cosmopolitan in distribution. One of the first described species has a color pattern reminiscent of the red coats of early British soldiers, hence the common name. They are also known commonly as leatherwings because of their soft elytra.[1]

Historically, these beetles were placed in a superfamily "Cantharoidea", which has been subsumed by the superfamily Elateroidea; the name is still sometimes used as a rankless grouping, including the families Cantharidae, Drilidae, Lampyridae, Lycidae, Omalisidae, Omethidae (which includes Telegeusidae), Phengodidae, and Rhagophthalmidae.

Subfamilies, tribes and selected genera[edit]

Five subfamilies are normally accepted:





  • tribe Malchinini
    • Macrocerus Motschulsky, 1845 - Europe (synonym Malchinus)
  • tribe Malthinini
    • Caccodes Sharp, 1885 - central America, Pacific islands
    • Malthinellus Kiesenwetter, 1874 - Japan
    • Malthinus Latreille, 1805 - Japan, Europe, N. America
  • tribe Malthodini
    • Frostia Bert. ex Guill.
    • Malthodes Kiesenwetter, 1852 - mostly Europe, N. America & New Zealand


  • tribe Silini
  • tribe Tytthonyxini


Soldier beetle filmed in Hesse, Germany

Large males of the soldier beetle exercise choice for larger females. Body size correlates with the abilities of males to secure females, and of females to evade males.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Phillips, C., et al. Leatherwing (Soldier) Beetles. Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University. 2013.
  2. ^ McLain, Denson K.; Pratt, Ann E.; Shure, Donald J. (June 2015). "Size dependence of courtship effort may promote male choice and strong assortative mating in soldier beetles". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 69 (6): 883–894. doi:10.1007/s00265-015-1900-6. ISSN 0340-5443.

External links[edit]