six-spotted tiger beetle

(Cicindela sexguttata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

six-spotted tiger beetle

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Very common

Flight/Season

April to early July

Habitat

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

Size

Total Length: to 9 16

         
          Photo by Dan W. Andree

Identification

This 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).

 
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.


Larval Food

Any insect the larva can get into its hole

 
Adult Food

Small insects and spiders

 
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.

 
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.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 24, 27, 29, 30.


Comments

Woodland Path Species
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.


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)

 
Synonyms

Cicindela sexguttata sexguttata

 
Common
Names

six-spotted tiger beetle


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened 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

   
Share your photo of this insect.

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

       
       
       

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  six-spotted tiger beetle    
       
       

 

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Slideshows

   
  Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)  
     
  Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)
Bill Keim
 
  Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)  
     
  Six-spotted Tiger Beetle
Henryr10
 
   
 
About

Cicindela sexguttata

 
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this insect.

     
     

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

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

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


     
     
 

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