Cantharis livida Linnaeus, 1758
Occurs throughout England, Wales and southernmost Scotland; Dumfries and the borders, there are also records (post 1980) from further north, Aberdeen and Highland (Alexander). Adults appear sometime during May depending on season, during 2007 with a generally wet and cool May it seems they never appeared at all as searching known haunts of the species failed to record them, in fact we did not find a single specimen during 2007. More usually they will be found throughout June and often into July. They occur in a variety of habitats supporting long grass including open woodland, parkland, wasteland and, towards the end of June when they seem to be most abundant, domestic gardens around the town centre. Sweeping long grass or mixed low vegetation will often produce them as will searching umbel flowers. Alexander mentions a recent decline in several cantharid species due to various changes in land management and, being fortunate enough to have been studying Coleoptera along the Colne valley for the past 30 years, this appears to be the case with livida, nowadays it might be described as widespread and even 'common' in most years but we generally see only single specimens or small groups and we have yet to find it 'abundant' as it once was. Late in their season care must be taken as Rhagonycha fulva (Scopoli), superficially similar, is becoming common; Joy states that the elytral apices in livida are sometimes darker.

11-14mm. Antennae long and slender, black with basal two or three segments entirely, and base of 4-8 testaceous. Longer in the male. Palpi yellow, terminal segment triangular. Head testaceous with dark mark at base on both dorsal and ventral surface, finely punctate and pubescent throughout (X20). Clypeus weakly convex between antennal insertions and with obliquely transverse impressions between eyes. Pronotum testaceous and shining, generally darker on disc, finely punctate and pubescent, strongly convex behind middle and with broadly explanate lateral margins. Completely rounded, hind angles not, or barely, visible. Elytra entire and covering wings, testaceous or black, rugose and with dense recumbent pale pubescence, a little longer towards apex. Legs testaceous, mid femora often darkened at apex, hind femora with apical 1/4 or 1/3 dark, tibia black or with base and apex lighter, tarsi pale. Anterior claw of each pair toothed at base.


Description from 2 Watford specimens at X20

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