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They don't look very healthy !
Unfortunately, a rather ignorant visitor to the area found them in the galley of the boat she was staying on, was convinced that the poor things were cockroaches and despatched them without bothering to check first. She was so certain that they were cockroaches that she packed her bags and left immediately. Good riddance!
These are acutually the wharf borer (unrelated but v. similar coloured species) - which might be worth informing the owner of the boat as the name suggests!
Can you tell me please - how do you tell the difference between wharf borer and soldier beetle? Thanks!
the shape of head and pronotum (bit between the head and wing cases) are slightly different and the wharf borer usually has darker legs - see these two images:
Thanks, the photos illustrate the differences well
Lat/Lng: 51.7754, 0.9046
OS grid ref: TM004125
many of them flying about over saltmarsh plants, found several in the folds of sails and similar places.