This cantharid measures up to 1.5 cm long at the adult stage. Apart from components making up the head and thorax which are red or orange, the rest of the animal is black. The body is flat and long, with soft teguments, like the other insects of this family of Coleoptera.
In the past it was common in Europe. However, with receding habitats and owing probably to the increased usage of pesticides that can kill both it and its prey, it is in regression.
It lives in the bushes, woodland and forest edges and fields, on Apiaceae, along ditches where it hunts for small insects or other invertebrates.
Cantharis (Cantharis) fusca Linné, 1758