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C. fusca
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Cantharidae
Genus: Cantharis
Linnaeus, 1758

Cantharis is a large genus of soldier beetles in the family Cantharidae with narrow and soft elytra. The superficially similar poisonous spanish fly, sometimes called Cantharis vesicatoria or just Cantharis vernacularly, is actually unrelated to Cantharis. It is now named Lytta vesicatioria and belongs to another family, Meloidae. The misapplication of the name Cantharis to the spanish fly was corrected by Johan Christian Fabricius in his Systema entomologiae in 1775, where he reclassified the spanish fly into the new genus Lytta, but continued throughout the 19th century.[1]

The Cantharisis was used as a plot device in the first Roald Dahl short story about Uncle Oswald.

European species[edit]

Subgenus Cantharis[edit]

Subgenus Cyrtomoptila[edit]

References and notes[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Wittmer W., Kasantsev S. (1997) On the classification of the genus Cantharis Linné (Coleoptera, Cantharidae). Entomologica Basiliensia 20: 367-372.