July 20, 2009
this is a bug we found wandering on the ground while playing with my son. Its colors were so brilliant in the sunlight that i captured it to get a better look. I think it is some kind of beetle because of its jaw…but its coloring is unlike anything ive ever seen. We live in east texas. Is this a common insect in this area? Thanks!
Intrigued in texas
We believe your gorgeous beetle is a Carolina Tiger Beetle, Tetracha carolina, based on photos posted to BugGuide. It is also called a Pan-American Big-headed Tiger Beetle. BugGuide also indicates: “Range Southern United States. In southeast: Virginia to Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana. Perhaps absent from Appalachians, though Brimley (1) reports it from Asheville, North Carolina. Also found in southwest, west to California. Habitat Sandbanks of rivers, pastures, open, disturbed areas. Often found near water. Nocturnal, found under boards, rocks, trash, etc. during day.”