Green beetle and cicada
Hello! I have two pictures for you, the first is a beetle I was hoping you could help me identify. I have seen this gorgeous metallic green beetle many times, but this time, I thought to grab a Ziploc to stick him in so he would be more cooperative while I tried to take his picture (he’s very fast for a beetle). Also, I thought I’d send you this cicada who I found singing his heart out on my deck the other day. He politely quieted down to pose for the picture. Do you know what those little red dots between his eyes are for? Thank you!
Gretchen Bertram, Iowa

Hi Gretchen,
What wonderful photos. The green beetle is a Tiger Beetle. It might take some time to identify an exact species. The Cicada is one of the Annual Cicadas known as Dog Day Harvestflies. The red dots are simple eyes known as ocelli. Many insects have ocelli as well as compound eyes.

Update (08/22/2006)
Hello Lisa Anne and Daniel,
I recently came across your website and I was pleased to see such a vibrant (and well-done) site. I’m an entomologist and evolutionary biologist (specializing on the systematics, taxonomy and evolution of tiger beetles and their close relatives) and I have to say that I’m impressed with your accuracy rate! It’s much, much better than other comparable sites I’ve come across over the years. The two of you must really love insects.
This is a specimen of Cicindela sexguttata. Although the name implies that they have six-spots, they regularly do not in a significant part of their range (especially in the midwest). They can have as many as 12 spots or often none at all. Nice find! Hope that helps. I thought there would probably be a lot of sexguttata photos, and it looks like there were. The name confuses so many people, especially in the midwest where they are usually immaculate (I’ve got some really weird variants as well, since I’m completing a revision of the entire clade that that species falls within). I’ll bookmark your site and check it out when I’m having trouble sleeping again!
Daniel P. Duran
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN

One Response to Six Spotted Tiger Beetle and Dog Day Harvestfly

  1. Coral Benton says:

    I have seen this green “tiger’ beetle in Colombia but he has 2 large white dots on his back. Is this a variation of the tiger beetle or another creature all together. I also saw a moth that I’m having a hard time identifying. One looks exactly like the Arched Hooktip,except he doesn’t have the tips on the wings. He’s completely rounded.I’ll see if I can post the pictures. That will help! Thanks!

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