Sunday, June 30, 2013

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

This beetle is a relatively unspotted Six-spotted Tiger Beetle. The species is found in Minnesota and much of eastern North America. These beetles feed on other insects like caterpillars, ants, and spiders and thus are generally welcomed by gardeners.

After hatching, tiger beetle larvae make burrows, where they wait for their prey. Often they attack from the burrows “much like jack-in-the-boxes” (Wikipedia). The larvae live for about a year before pupating (and live for about 4 more years as adults). At night, adults return to their larval burrows. They also over-winter in the burrows (Mark Moran).

Six-spotted Tiger Beetles often have six spots on their emerald fore-wings. This field mark, as you can see, is not invariably present. I can make out two or three tiny spots on this individual. Others may have as many as ten.

1 comment:

  1. Very good detail in the photo and a good description.