Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle Cicindela sexguttata
This tiger beetle is an active predator and can frequently be found hunting along footpaths and walkways through deciduous or mixed woodlands. Since the adults overwinter in their original pupal burrows, they are some of the earliest "big" flying insects out and about come springtime.
Six-spotted Tiger Beetles are fairly small, growing about 1/2 inch long. They are easy to identify, with a bright metallic green body. The outer wings, called elytra, each have three to five white spots. Since the beetle has two elytra, it could actually have a total of six to ten spots. Legs and antennae are also bright green.
The tiger beetles (family Cicindelidae) are members of the suborder Adephaga within the Order Coleoptera. Adult tiger beetles are characterized, by large, prominent, compound eyes and eleven-segmented, filiform antennae. The antennae are inserted on the frons above the clypeus and below the eyes. The head, at the eyes, is wider than the pronotum (in most common genera of cicindelids). The tarsi are five-segmented.
Adult beetles are fast runners and fliers. When they fly, they usually stay within three feet of the ground. Tiger beetles catch prey on the ground and in the air.
Six-spotted Tiger Beetles eat small insects, spiders, and other arthropods. Favorite foods include other beetles, springtails, sawflies, caterpillars, flies, ants, and grasshoppers.
Predators of tiger beetle larvae include moles, opossum, raccoons, skunks, hister beetles, ants, dragonflies, robber flies, lizards, frogs, salamanders and birds. This beetle's shiny body helps hide it, since predators have a hard time seeing it when the beetle is on the ground. It also defends itself by releasing a bad odor. Certain types of wasps, mites, and bee flies become parasites of tiger beetle larvae. - AZ Assignment | Professional | Commercial Photography Photographer Tucson AZ Photography | Science | Location | Aerial | Industrial