six-spotted tiger beetle

(Cicindela sexguttata)

Conservation Status
six-spotted tiger beetle
Photo by Dan W. Andree
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Six-spotted tiger beetle is a small predaceous, tiger beetle. It may be the most common species of tiger beetle in eastern North America. Adults are to 9 16 long.

The hardened wing covers (elytra) are shiny, iridescent, metallic green to bluish-green, occasionally greenish-blue or all blue. They are somewhat wider beyond the middle. There are usually three spots on each elytra: two lateral spots near the margin and a dash near the rear. There is usually an additional small spot on each elytra between the lateral spots in the middle of the elytra. There is rarely an additional small spot near the margin between the upper lateral spot and the front (humeral) angle. Occasionally, some or all white spots will be absent.

The plate covering the thorax (pronotum) is narrower than and the same color as the elytra.

The head at the eyes is as wide or wider than the pronotum. It is the same color as the elytra and pronotum. The eyes are large and bulging. The antennae are thread-like, have 11 segments, and are inserted above the base of the mandibles. The mouthpart between the mandibles (labrum), often likened to an upper lip, is small and has a single tooth.

The legs are long and slender. All legs have five end segments (tarsi).

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to 9 16

 
     
 

Sign

 
 

Adults and larval burrows are very often seen on paths in the woods. Six-spotted tiger beetle can be thought of as a woodland path species.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Laurentian tiger beetle (Cicindela denikei) is slightly larger. The wings have no white spots. Its range, restricted to the boreal forest in the five northeasternmost counties, does not overlap.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Open, sunny areas in deciduous and mixed woodlands; forest edges and openings; trails, dirt paths, fallen logs.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

April to early July

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The larva sits inside its burrow and waits for any insect unlucky enough to pass by. When it detects prey it pops out, seizes the insect, drags it to the bottom of the tunnel, and eats it there.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

After mating the female digs a hole in the soil, deposits a single egg, then covers the hole. The egg hatches and the emergent larva burrows further into the soil creating a tunnel. It overwinters in the burrow, developing for about a year before pupating.

This beetle lives for almost five years. Adults overwinter in pupal burrows. Unlike most tiger beetles, six-spotted tiger beetle is seen mostly in the spring, rarely in the fall.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Any insect the larva can get into its hole

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Small insects and spiders

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 27, 29, 30.

 
  6/3/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Very common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Adephaga (Ground and Water Beetles)  
 

Superfamily

Caraboidea  
 

Family

Carabidae (ground beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Cicindelinae (tiger beetles)  
 

Tribe

Cicindelini (flashy tiger beetles)  
 

Genus

Cicindela  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Cicindela sexguttata sexguttata

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

six-spotted tiger beetle

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened or leathery forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five sections of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Alfredo Colon

 
    six-spotted tiger beetle      
 

Dan W. Andree

 
 

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle...

I wasn’t sure if this was a six-spotted tiger beetle until a specialist in the area (Val Cervenka) confirmed it was. I was informed the spots can vary from zero to eight. It was a small beetle maybe a half inch or just over that. It was quite an interesting looking little creature from the front face view. Came across it recently on a grassy part of a hiking trail near Twin Valley, Mn. It just kind of sat there briefly while I photographed it then took off.

  six-spotted tiger beetle  
         
      six-spotted tiger beetle  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    six-spotted tiger beetle      
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Cicindela Sexguttata (Six Spotted Tiger Beetle)
Torn80cj
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 24, 2013

These beetles are actually beneficial since they mainly eat bugs that are pests.

 
  Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Carabidae: Cicindela sexguttata) Nearly Spotless
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 16, 2010

Photographed near Fisher, Minnesota (16 June 2010).

 
  Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle Cicindela sexguttata
victor abbley
 
   
 
About

Published on May 26, 2011

Flower Mound Texas, Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle Cicindela sexguttata.

A good close up of a brilliantly colored tiger beetle moving around franticly as this doesent end well. This poor guy dies in the river after tripping in a spider web

 
  Tiger Beetle Bites my Finger! Nature Now!
Chris Egnoto - The Naturalist's Path
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 24, 2017

Here is a video on the amazing Tiger Beetle. These beetles are ferocious as far as their size and predatory behavior is concerned. Brilliant green and huge white jaws make this predator a beautiful and beneficial insect to find in your garden. Later on in the video, you can witness my being bitten on my finger by those massive jaws!

 
  Six-spotted Tiger Beetle Ovipositing
Videos For Animal and Pets Lovers
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 1, 2015

A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred of Nature's Gems
http://digitsy.com/us/item/022608275X
Cicindela sexguttata female ovipositing into moist soil caught between the roots of a fallen tree. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA.
Videos from Katja Schulz
Six-spotted Tiger Beetle Ovipositing Dorsal View
flickr.com/photos/treegrow/15293181817
Six-spotted Tiger Beetle Ovipositing Lateral View
flickr.com/photos/treegrow/15476608661
(CC BY 2.0)

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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  Alfredo Colon
7/13/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

six-spotted tiger beetle  
  Dan W. Andree
6/2/2018

Location: near Twin Valley, Mn

I wasn’t sure if this was a six-spotted tiger beetle until a specialist in the area (Val Cervenka) confirmed it was. I was informed the spots can vary from zero to eight. It was a small beetle maybe a half inch or just over that. It was quite an interesting looking little creature from the front face view. Came across it recently on a grassy part of a hiking trail near Twin Valley, Mn. It just kind of sat there briefly while I photographed it then took off.

six-spotted tiger beetle  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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