May 27, 2013

Beetle Juice...

I found this little guy walking/flying around my daughter's yard last weekend.  It's color was dazzling!

I had never seen an insect like this before.  This is what I found out about the Green Tiger Beetle:

With the sun shining off its irisdescent blue-green elytra, the green tiger beetle resembles an emerald lost on a sandy path. A closer inspection usually reveals nothing—the "emerald" has flown several feet down the path.
Green tiger beetle adults are slender predatory beetles with long legs, large eyes, and thread-like antennae. Like all chewing insects they have a pair of mandibles. The tiger beetle's mandibles are sickle-shaped and very sharp pointed, with several teeth on the inner face. The name tiger beetle refers to its predaceous habits (both adults and larvae eat all kinds of insects) and to the ability of the adults to suddenly pounce on their prey.
During the summer months females will deposit their eggs in sandy soil. The eggs are deposited singly, each in a separate burrow. The larvae are whitish, S-shaped and grub-like with long curving jaws and a large hard head. The larvae prop themselves up in vertical burrows with their oddly shaped heads often plugging the entrance. They wait with open mandibles for a hapless victim, which they seize and take to the bottom of the burrow (sometimes a foot below the surface) to devour at their leisure. On the larva's 5th abdominal segment is a spine that anchors it to the side of the burrow. Thus, if a larva grabs an insect that is too large to overcome, it is anchored to the burrow and will not be pulled out.

"May" texture courtesy of Kim Klassen.

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18 comments:

SueAnn Lommler said...

Vicious and beautiful...amazing what nature holds
Nice pic
Hugs
SueAnn

jviola79 said...

Isn't it amazing what we can discover outside! What a beautiful earth we have been blessed to live in! I was your neighbor at Inspire Me Mondays :)

LuAnn Braley said...

I've never seen one of those before either!

Ruth said...

Oh, isn't he magnificent!

Karen Frost said...

Amazing! I love his color! xx

Lynne with an e said...

Your vivid little jewel of a bug looks like he's a cartoon character about to set off on a Big Adventure.

Kerri said...

And my favorite color! He's gorgeous!

Kia said...

Such a brilliant color! :)

Gracie said...

Very nice find! Love his metallic green color!

Evelyn S. said...

That beautiful metallic green and "predatory" just don't seem to go together, do they? ;-) It's such a great image.

Jeanie said...

This is absolutely dazzling! How lucky you were to see this creature -- although it's hard to think of something so beautiful as a predator! I would want to save him and wear him as a lovely pin!

abrianna said...

Beautiful. I have seen some small flies here that are that color too.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

What a great find Pat -- such a simple little beetle but so amazing in it's color.

bailey-road.com said...

A little jewel!

Sharon said...

What an interesting jewel-toned little guy! I would not have thought to take his photo. Good job!

peabea.com said...

I've seen those before and never knew what they were. What a lovely color. Thanks. Love how you portrayed him with your picture.

mail4rosey said...

I've never seen one but he is pretty cool looking. :)

Lisa said...

Kinda makes me glad I'm not on the menu! But it's a very handsome beetle and I'll be sure to be on the look out for them in my garden!
Visiting from Tuesday Muse.