Morni Wildlife (Insects): Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle

November 8, 2014

Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) is a ground beetle of deciduous forests, a little over half-an-inch in length and with long legs.

Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle, Berwala choe, Morni hills (August)- long legs

Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle, Berwala choe, Morni hills (August)- long legs

The large white mandibles give the insect a ferocious look (hence the name ‘Tiger’) and help it subdue its prey – caterpillars, ants, spiders etc.

Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle, Berwala choe, Morni hills (August)- ferocious look

Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle, Berwala choe, Morni hills (August)- ferocious look

This carnivorous beetle can run and fly fast- sometimes so fast that it momentarily blinds itself as the eyes are unable to capture sufficient light! It hunts its prey in sandy areas. The glossy green, hardened forewings give its back a metallic shield-like look and bear the distinctive white spots – generally 3 on either wing – 6 in all.

Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle, Berwala choe, Morni hills (August)- six white spots

Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle, Berwala choe, Morni hills (August)- six white spots

The female lays eggs in sand and the larvae burrow into the ground to emerge suddenly  like a Jack-in-a-box for pouncing on unsuspecting prey.

Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle, Berwala choe, Morni hills (August)

Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle, Berwala choe, Morni hills (August)

 

Filed in: Insects

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An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

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