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Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle



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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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Image Credit: Holly A. from Canton, MI
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Image Credit: Holly A. from Canton, MI
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Image Credit: Holly A. from Canton, MI
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Image Credit: Angie G., taken in Crow Wing County, MN
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Image Credit: Holly A. from Canton, MI
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The Six-spotted Tiger Beetle sits on bright green plants to camouflage itself while it hunts small insects all summer long.



Updated: 11/17/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The bright, metallic, emerald green color on the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle is punctuated by six white spots along the side edges of the elytra, or wing coverings. Some individuals may also have two extra spots on either side of the mid-line, and others may not have any white spots at all. Still other individuals are purple with blue hues instead of green. A large mouth part in front of the face is white with black pincers that curve across each other to close when not in use. White feathery hairs can be seen on the upper legs, closer to the abdomen than the feet.

The Six-spotted Tiger Beetle sits in wait for passing insect prey. Like the big cat it was named after, this beetle stalks and attacks passing bugs that never realize they are being watched. Unlike darker Tiger Beetles, this jade-colored beauty sits on vegetation, not the ground, allowing it to blend in with its surroundings concealing its presence. If threatened, the beetle is capable of emitting a foul smelling chemical to deter predators. The Six-spotted Tiger Beetle is most active in the daytime during late spring and early summer. It can be found in wooded areas, on nature trails, and in open fields near forests. They are often seen crossing sidewalks, trails, and dirt paths.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Patterned insect icon
Shiny insect icon




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: sexguttata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Cicindela sexguttata
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 15mm (0.39" to 0.59")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, white, black
Descriptors: metallic, green, spots, shiny, metal, emerald
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 15mm (0.6in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 12.5mm
Hi: 15mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Six-spotted 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 Six-spotted Tiger Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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