Monday, May 25, 2009

Unknown Tiger Beetle--Ted this one is for you.

While in Fillmore, MO today I decided to do some bug hunting with the camera. Joey spotted this pretty tiger beetle. I managed to get a few pictures of it before it disappeared. True to their nature they are difficult subjects. Very quick and flighty. Ted this is a shout out to you, do you know which one this is? I thought it was the Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle but there are no visible spots that I can see. It was roughly 1/2 inch long, bright iridescent green and blue legs.


  1. Ever since I started reading Ted's blog I've been interested in finding some tiger beetles. Never have..yet!

  2. I see the six-spotted tiger beetle quite a bit in our area. I've found a few other species such as the sidewalk tiger beetle. usually I find them in bare ground, or near the rivers in the sandy areas. I was convinced these were the Six-spotted variety, but there are no spots, other than one tiny one on the side of the elytra. Perhaps there is a variation in this species.

  3. Hi Shelly - this is, indeed, six-spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela sexguttata). Northern populations of this species are much less maculated than further south. In Missouri, the immaculate is found in the very northern tier of counties - as you go further south they start showing some spots until you get to the Ozarks where they are fully maculated.

    It's interesting, because some other tiger beetle species in the state, e.g. claybank tiger beetle (Cicindela limbalis) show the opposite trend, with southern populations less maculated than northern populations. When I first started studying the tiger beetles of the state, I made a special trip to northwest Missouri just to find these immaculate six-spotteds and fully maculate claybanks.


  4. Thanks Ted, I appreciate the info. I thought I had read somewhere that the six-spotted was highly variable with regards to their spots. I guess my instincts were right on this one. They are gorgeous beetles. My husband spotted a large beetle near our garden last night. He said it was over an inch long and bright green like the tiger beetle, he said the body was segmented as well. I looked for well over an hour last night to try and relocate it to no avail. I will keep looking. I am curious to see what it could be.