The Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle sits on bright green plants to camouflage itself while it hunts small insects all summer long.
The metallic, vibrant green color on the Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle is punctuated by six white spots along the side edges of the elytra (wing covering). Some individuals may also have two extra spots on either side of the mid-line. White feathery hairs can be seen on the upper legs ('thighs') close to the abdomen.
The Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle sits in wait for passing insect prey. Like its namesake, it will hunt and attack passing bugs that never even realize they're being watched. Unlike darker Tiger Beetles, this species sits on vegetation, not the ground, making itself blend in with its chosen stalking site. If threatened, they are capable of emitting a foul smelling chemical to deter predators.
This beetle is most active in the daytime during late spring and early summer. They can be found in wooded areas, on nature trails and in open fields near forests.
Scientific Name: Cicindela sexguttata
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 15mm (0.39in to 0.59in)
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Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.