Creature Feature: Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle

By MDC | March 1, 2024
From Xplor: March/April 2024

What Large Eyes You Have

Enormous, bulging eyes help a tiger beetle spot prey or predators approaching from nearly any direction.

Bitey Beetle

Powerful, pinching jaws are used to snatch and dispatch caterpillars, ants, beetles, and spiders.

It’s All a Blur

At top speeds, a tiger beetle’s vision becomes blurry, and it must stop running to regain its sight. This is why they often dart then stop then dart again.

Wing Wrappers

Shiny shell-like wing covers, called elytra (el-ih-truh), hide and protect the beetle’s wings when they’re not in use.

Six Spots?

Most six-spotted tiger beetles have six white spots on their wing covers. But some don’t have any spots, and others have up to eight.

Speed Demons

Thanks to long, strong legs, tiger beetles are among the fastest runners in the world. Some species can cover 120 body lengths per second!

Also In This Issue

This Issue's Staff

Artist – Matt Byrde
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Marcia Hale
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber