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Six Spotted Tiger Beetle

Hello! I am a Six Spotted Tiger Beetle. I can be found in woodlands all over Ohio, including in the MetroParks throughout Butler County. These pictures of my friend and myself were taken at Forest Run MetroPark.

 

 

Although my species typically has six spots, as our name suggests, sometimes we can have a different number of spots, or none at all! I actually have eight spots, and my friend here has four. The rest of our name - tiger beetle - was given to us due to our ferocious hunting abilities. We are excellent predators, just like feline tigers!

 

 

My bright green coloring makes me easy to spot by humans while I’m walking or flying along the park trails. I can be very fast though, and difficult to catch or photograph! I have great eyesight, which helps me to hunt, and fairly large mandibles (insect mouthparts) that I use to catch my prey. Be careful though… I don’t really enjoy when people pick me up, and I might use my powerful mandibles to let you know that I’m unhappy and want to defend myself!

People often get me confused with an invasive insect called the Emerald Ash Borer. These insects are native to countries in Asia. They will lay their young within the bark of Ash trees, which ultimately kills the tree. I, on the other hand, am a great friend to have around! I’ll eat the pests that are in your garden, to make sure your plants grow big and healthy. A couple ways to tell me apart from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) are—I am a shinier and more metallic-looking green than the EAB. I also have a smaller thorax than EAB’s, making me look like I have a smaller “waist.”

 

 

Have you ever seen me on the trails in a MetroPark? Have you ever seen me around your home? If you see me, or any other Six Spotted Tiger Beetle, you can observe as I hunt for my prey!