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Cantharidae (soldier beetles, sailor beetles, leather-winged beetles; class Insecta, order Coleoptera) Family of soft-bodied, pubescent beetles, 3–18 mm long, in which the elytra are parallel-sided, without striae, and often brightly coloured, commonly red or black. The antennae are long, and filiform. The adults are frequently found at flowers. The larvae are rather flattened, with a well-marked head, long legs, and a two-pronged tail; usually they are dark and pubescent. They are found under bark and logs and in loose soil. They are active in winter, hence their name ‘snow-worms’. Both adults and larvae are predatory on insect grubs, though some are omnivorous. There are 3500 species.

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