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Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)

Six-spotted tiger beetle of the tiger beetles (Cicindelinae) subfamily and ground beetle (Carabidae) family is found in the deciduous forest areas of North America. The six small spots on their body, earn them their name, while they are also alternately called the six-spotted green tiger beetle because of the green body color.

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Carabidae
  • Genus: Cicindela
  • Scientific name: Cicindela sexguttata

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 12 – 14 mm (0.50 – 0.62 inches)

Color: They have a metallic green or bluish-green coloration with six small yellowish-white spots on their elytra. However, the number of spots could vary, as they could have less or more of it, or some may even have no spots at all.

Other Characteristics: They have a cylindrical skinny appearanceand slender, long legs.Like most other tiger beetles, this species has large overlapping mandibles, accounting for their fierce look and painful bite.

Six Spotted Green Tiger Beetle

Larva

The larva has a whitish grub-like appearance with a dark head and two large mandibles protruding right out of their head, helping them catch prey. The vertical burrows made by them have a depth of about 2 feet (0.67 m). Their abdomen possesses a hook-like feature that helps them move right incol3 the burrow and lunge at their prey without dragging them out. It takes about five years in total for the larva to mature into an adult.

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle Larva

Pupa

The larval stage continues for a year before they start pupating. The pupa digs diagonally, thus making their way out of the ground.

Egg

The female lays the round and small eggs in small holes within the sandy patches in June or early July.

Quick Facts

Other NamesSix-spotted green tiger beetle
Lifespan of Adults3 – 4 weeks
DistributionDifferent parts of North America including Ontario, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Kentucky
HabitatDeciduous forests mostly near sunny spots on rocks, ground, roads, forest paths,  adjacent to fallen branches, and tree trunks
Seasons active fromMarch – July
Diet of larvae and adultsSpiders, caterpillars, ants, and several other arthropods
Cicindela sexguttata

Did You Know

  • Though they voraciously prey upon arthropods, they aren’t harmful to humans and bite only if touched. However, their bite is mild, nothing more than a pinch, barely noticeable.
  • Their green coloration often leads people to confuse them with the jewel beetle family’s emerald ash borer. However, they are quick-movers, in comparison to the slow-moving six-spotted tiger beetle.
  • Like most other tiger beetle species, the six-spotted tiger beetle is a fast runner, too, all because of its long legs.
Tiger Beetle Six Spotted

Image Source: uncommonartist.com, objects.liquidweb.services, espacepourlavie.ca, photos.smugmug.com, cdn3.creativecirclemedia.com

Six-spotted tiger beetle of the tiger beetles (Cicindelinae) subfamily and ground beetle (Carabidae) family is found in the deciduous forest areas of North America. The six small spots on their body, earn them their name, while they are also alternately called the six-spotted green tiger beetle because of the green body color.

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 12 – 14 mm (0.50 – 0.62 inches)

Color: They have a metallic green or bluish-green coloration with six small yellowish-white spots on their elytra. However, the number of spots could vary, as they could have less or more of it, or some may even have no spots at all.

Other Characteristics: They have a cylindrical skinny appearanceand slender, long legs.Like most other tiger beetles, this species has large overlapping mandibles, accounting for their fierce look and painful bite.

Six Spotted Green Tiger Beetle

Larva

The larva has a whitish grub-like appearance with a dark head and two large mandibles protruding right out of their head, helping them catch prey. The vertical burrows made by them have a depth of about 2 feet (0.67 m). Their abdomen possesses a hook-like feature that helps them move right incol3 the burrow and lunge at their prey without dragging them out. It takes about five years in total for the larva to mature into an adult.

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle Larva

Pupa

The larval stage continues for a year before they start pupating. The pupa digs diagonally, thus making their way out of the ground.

Egg

The female lays the round and small eggs in small holes within the sandy patches in June or early July.

Quick Facts

Other NamesSix-spotted green tiger beetle
Lifespan of Adults3 – 4 weeks
DistributionDifferent parts of North America including Ontario, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Kentucky
HabitatDeciduous forests mostly near sunny spots on rocks, ground, roads, forest paths,  adjacent to fallen branches, and tree trunks
Seasons active fromMarch – July
Diet of larvae and adultsSpiders, caterpillars, ants, and several other arthropods
Cicindela sexguttata

Did You Know

  • Though they voraciously prey upon arthropods, they aren’t harmful to humans and bite only if touched. However, their bite is mild, nothing more than a pinch, barely noticeable.
  • Their green coloration often leads people to confuse them with the jewel beetle family’s emerald ash borer. However, they are quick-movers, in comparison to the slow-moving six-spotted tiger beetle.
  • Like most other tiger beetle species, the six-spotted tiger beetle is a fast runner, too, all because of its long legs.
Tiger Beetle Six Spotted

Image Source: uncommonartist.com, objects.liquidweb.services, espacepourlavie.ca, photos.smugmug.com, cdn3.creativecirclemedia.com

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