Currently viewing the category: "Tiger Beetles"

Subject:  Beetle identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Oklahoma City, OK
Date: 08/19/2019
Time: 12:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this beetle? Found it in my house. Wondering if this is what killed one of my trees! Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Oklahoma Beetle

Ocellated Tiger Beetle

This harmless, predatory Tiger Beetle did not kill your tree.  We believe we have correctly identified it as an Ocellated Tiger Beetle thanks to this Gossamer Tapestry image and this BugGuide image.  We will be tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage in an effort to educate the public that every insect encountered is not a threat.

Cara on Facebook Asks:  Why do people kill first, then ask questions?!

Subject:  Bug Lookup
Geographic location of the bug:  Morehead City, NC
Date: 07/22/2019
Time: 07:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just trying to find out what kind of bug it is.
How you want your letter signed:  No

Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle

This is a beneficial, predatory, Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle, Tetracha carolina, which we identified on BugGuide and on Flickr.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is “Sandbanks of rivers, pastures, open, disturbed areas; often near water. Hides under boards, rocks, trash, etc. during day” and “Nocturnal. Comes to lights. Apparently, does not fly often.”

Subject:  Garden pest?
Geographic location of the bug:  Belgrade, Maine
Date: 06/12/2019
Time: 07:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw these tiny little perfect holes in my newly seeded beet bed and carefully excavated with a small twig, maintaining the integrity of the hole; when I got to about 5-6 cm. down this “scary” beast jumped up and attacked the stick! It’s about 1.5 cm long. Could this be what made for an unsuccessful beet bed last year?
How you want your letter signed:  Mary

Tiger Beetle Larva

Not at all Mary.  This is a beneficial, predatory Tiger Beetle larva.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  

Thank you! So wonderful- I was hoping it was one of the ground beetles! Not being sure, I set it free behind my house far from vegie garden, in my wildflower garden! Now I will know for sure and  will leave them be. This is the first year I haven’t rototilled, hoping to encourage beneficials.

Subject:  Unknown Bug Found While Hiking
Geographic location of the bug:  Gatlinburg, TN
Date: 01/21/2019
Time: 08:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I was walking along the Fighting Creek Nature Trail near the Sugarlands Visitor Center outside of Gatlinburg, TN when I saw this bug. I’ve tried googling it but can’t seem to find a match. Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Matt

One Spotted Tiger Beetle:  Apterodela unipunctata

Dear Matt,
This is a predatory Tiger Beetle, and many species have metallic green coloration, so we decided to search BugGuide for a Black Tiger Beetle and quickly identified it as
Cicindelidia punctulata thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Overwinters as larva, adults present in summer. One- or two-year life cycle” which makes your January sighting quite unusual.  BugGuide data lists April sightings in Florida as the earliest sightings of the year, and most other states only report sightings from May to October.  Perhaps you took this image last summer?

Wow! Awesome – thank you so much!
And yes, you’re absolutely right it was taken last summer (late June)
Thanks again!

March 14, 2019a:  Correction and Comment from Timothy P Friedlander.
This is actually a very interesting tiger beetle, Apterodela unipunctata, and a good find. They are most active in late May, through June, into July, and prefer sandy woods. They seem to be mostly nocturnal, and less active in the day, and frequently “play dead” when disturbed. They resemble fast, black spiders as they run through the forest litter, and will hide under leaves.

Subject:  Ground Dwelling bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Henderson, KY
Date: 08/08/2018
Time: 03:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey Bugman!
I been seeing these little holes in the ground, with a bug head in em. I’m curious so for past 2 weeks been trying to lure out the dam things.
Today i managed to make a trap where i could get it out the hole.
I got it out, and took some photos. Google reverse image  search is coming yp with nothing.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, The Dude Man

Tiger Beetle Larva

Dear The Dude Man,
First off, congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of The Big Lebowski.  Secondly, and probably more importantly, we are thrilled with your awesome images of a Tiger Beetle Larva, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology website:  “The newly-hatched larva enlarges the hole and burrows perpendicularly to the soil surface. This is accomplished byloosening the soil with its mandibles and using its head and thorax like a shovel to carry the soil. At the surface, the larva flips the soil backward off its head. There are three larval stages, and larvae enlarge and lengthen their burrow as they grow. The burrow may be 18 inches or more in depth, depending on the substrate. While in their burrows, larvae can survive without food for weeks and can also survive temporary flooding. They do not leave their burrow under normal circumstances but often wait at the burrow entrance to ambush small arthropods. When a suitable victim is near, the larva attacks with lightning speed. It throws its head (usually backward) to grab the prey with its sickle-shaped jaws. Then, it pulls the prey down into the burrow to devour it. Somewhat like a spider, larvae secrete digestive enzymes to help break down their food before ingestion. Tiger beetle larvae are unique in that they have hooks located on the back of their abdomen to anchor them to the side of the burrow while they subdue large prey. Tiger beetle larvae, in turn, are fed on by hister beetles, birds, and ants, and are parasitized by bombyliids (bee flies) and several wasps. The larval period may last up to four years depending on the species.”  We hope you were able to return this Tiger Beetle Larva to its hole.

Tiger Beetle Larva

Hole of a Tiger Beetle Larva

Subject:  beetle ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Banks of Green River in western washington, near Auburn Washington
Date: 06/19/2018
Time: 04:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this little guy on the bank of the green river in western Washington (June). Runs very fast, I only got picture while one was stopped. Appears to be tan or gold. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Larry Silsbee

Northwest Hairy-Necked Tiger Beetle

Dear Larry,
This is a beneficial, predatory Tiger Beetle in the subfamily Cicindelinae, and based on images posted to The Xerces Society and BugGuide, we believe it is the Northwest Hairy-Necked Tiger Beetle,
Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis.  According to BugGuide:  “Almost always in close association with a body of water i.e., sandy beaches of streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans.”