Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle

Photo of a six-spotted tiger beetle from the side.
Scientific Name
Cinindela sexguttata
Carabidae (ground beetles) in the order Coleoptera (beetles)

The six-spotted tiger beetle is probably the most familiar tiger beetle in Missouri. It’s most often seen in spring, as it darts in and out of trails just ahead of hikers. Even if you get only a glimpse of one, you can identify it not only by its shiny green color but also by its fast-running and fast-flying behavior.

The larvae of this and other tiger beetles are pale or tan and grublike, with six legs, and have strong pincers at the mouth. There’s usually a hump behind the rather large head. They dig holes down into the ground and rest near the entrance.

Learn more about this and other tiger beetles on their group page.


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About Land Invertebrates in Missouri
Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.