How to Manage Pests
Identification: Natural Enemies Gallery
Soldier beetles, leather-winged beetles
Scientific name: Cantharidae family
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Common prey: For adults: aphids. For larvae: eggs and larvae of soil-dwelling beetles, butterflies, moths and other insects.
Commercially available: No
Adults are long and narrow. Common species are often about 1/2 inch (13 mm) long with a red, orange or yellow
head and abdomen and black, gray or brown soft wing covers. Adults are often observed feeding on aphids or
on pollen or nectar on flowering shrubs and trees. Metamorphosis is complete. Larvae are dark, elongate, and
flattened. They feed under bark or in soil or litter, primarily on eggs and larvae of beetles, butterflies,
moths, and other insects. There are over 100 species of soldier beetles in California.