A friend of mine and I were camping on the Tallapoosa river in June of 2005 and when my friend dropped a shrimp on the sand these little guys came out of the sand to dine. They seem to like corn as well. With an appetite such as theirs I thought I should investigate, after all, a shrimp and a toe may look similar to these guys. I looked around for awhile, but became overwhelmed. I had no idea there was such a variety of insects. Thank you for any help you have offer.
We believe these are Tiger Beetles in the subfamily Cicindelinae, but we have never heard of them eating corn. We will check with Eric Eaton to get a second opinion. Eric quickly wrote back with this information: “Yes, indeed they are tiger beetles, Megacephala carolina to be exact,mostly nocturnal in habits. I know other types of ground beetles are atleast occasional seed-eaters, so perhaps this behavior in tiger beetlesshould not be surprising. Very interesting image in any event,documenting the omnivorous nature of this species.Eric”
Thanks for the i.d. guys, I can now search around to see if they do eat toestoo! We watched them polish off the corn. Odd note, they each ate anentire kernel of corn apiece, which is larger than they are… where didthey store all of it! Thanks again..