What’s this Canadian bug?
Hi – my dog tripped over this bug sitting on the ground at my cottage near Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada this past weekend. The bug was brilliant metallic-green/blue and did not fly or crawl away when the dog nudged it. About a thumbnail in length, quite spiney looking legs. Snow cover melted about 3 weeks ago. As you can see from picture, trees include; maples, birch, poplar, pine, spruce.
Do you know what it is? Is it a ‘good’ bug e.g. will not harm the trees?
Thank you for a beautiful photo of a Tiger Beetle, Family Cicindelidae. These are predatory beetles that definitely will not harm trees. They attack other insects. They are good fliers as well as great runners. Probably your guy was just lethargic because of the cold weather. They are also much prized by collectors. We are going to write Eric Eaton, a true expert, to see if we can get an exact species name for you.
Thanks so much for your reply. Since you identified it, I was able to search Internet to find information and articles – looks like different Canadian provinces have variety of different tiger beetles. Photos I saw close to my bug were from Ontario, however they had very distinct spots which I did not observe on my bug. Really interesting to read all about it. Lately I made a conscious decision to slow down and look and learn more about the wildlife who live where I live and visit. Just occurred to me this Spring how little I know about the bugs and other insects I frequently encounter in my wanderings – usually too distracted running from voracious hoards of black flies in Spring I guess!
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. I’ll bookmark your site and check it out when I’m having trouble sleeping again!
That species of tiger beetle is Cicindela sexguttata. In Ontario they are quite variable in markings, ranging from no spots to six spots or in rare cases more than six.
Daniel P. Duran
Dept. of Biological Sciences