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Festive Tiger Beetle (Cicindela scutellaris)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Festive Tiger Beetle

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Image Credit: Lauren S. from Falcon, CO
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The Festive Tiger Beetle always wears party colors as its scours open ground for insect meals.

Updated: 01/03/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A metallic gleam shimmers on the body of the Festive Tiger Beetle. Large, round eyes protrude from the sides of the head. The dark, earthy red abdomen sometimes has shades of orange-bronze on it. The head and thorax are an emerald green and may have wisps of white hairs on it as well as its legs and underbelly. Shades of blue, purple, and bronze are also possible. Legs are a metallic black with green tones. Several subspecies of this beetle exist in different areas of the continent and their colors may vary by region.

The hunting grounds of this active predator include areas with little vegetation or cover. They can be seen wandering among the streets, sidewalks, and sand dunes. This beetle lives about 2 years, most of which is spent developing. Late stage larvae overwinter. Adults take shelter during winter as well and emerge the next spring ready to mate.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Carabidae
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          Genus: Cicindela
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            Species: scutellaris

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Cicindela scutellaris
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 14mm (0.43" to 0.55")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red; green; black; white; orange
Descriptors: metallic; bronze; emerald; two-toned; two colors; white hairs

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 11mm (0.4in) and 14mm (0.6in)
Lo: 11mm
Md: 12.5mm
Hi: 14mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Festive Tiger Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Festive Tiger Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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