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Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

If you are a hiker, odds are you have come across these brilliant metallic green beetles. Tiger beetles are fast-moving predators of other small insects. They are commonly found in hardwoods where they can be seen warming up in sunny spots, only to dart off when you approach too closely. Some tiger beetles are known to run at speeds in excess of 5mph – quite impressive for a bug measuring only about half an inch!

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)-5997

Amazingly, tiger beetles move so fast that their large eyes cannot adequately process the visual information their large eyes register and they effectively go blind when they run. That is why you typically see them sprint short distances and stop briefly to get their bearings before speeding off again. When viewing these beetles up close it is difficult not to notice their large eyes and intimidating jaws.


Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)-6007

For their size, these alert and active bugs are formidable predators – no wonder they have been compared to miniature tigers. On sunny days, the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) can be seen on trails, dirt roads and other open areas surrounded by forest in our region. Imagine running through their habitat at full speed with your eyes closed and be glad you’re not a tiger beetle!

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)-6023

Visit RTPI’s Digital Natural History Atlas Project page to explore our region’s fascinating natural areas.