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Encyclop'APHID

Cantharidae

The Cantharidae, soldier beetles, are Coleoptera with quite a soft body.

They are warmly appreciated by gardeners as biological control agents against certain insect pests. The larvae tend to be dark brown or grey, slender and worm with a pronounced wrinkled appearance owing to segmentation. They eat eggs of grasshoppers, aphids, caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects most of which are pests.
The adults are particularly important as predators of aphids. They supplement their diet with nectar and pollen and may also be minor pollinators.
Their populations can be increased by growing nectar-producing plants such as Solidago (goldenrod) or Asclepias (milkweeds).