Tiger Beetle
(Common Name)
Beneficial Predator
(General Category)
Coleoptera: Carabidae
(Taxonomic Classification)
Many species
(Scientific Name)

Tiger beetle adult with rollover ID charactersTiger beetle larva with rollover ID characters

Description: All tiger beetles are predatory as both adults and larvae. The adults are fast runners, and with their powerful jaws, they live up to their common name of “tiger”. Some are active in the day, while others are active at night. For example, the Carolina Tiger beetle is nocturnal and gregarious, that is it sometimes hunts in “packs”. The larvae reside in deep, straight tunnels, where they ambush passing prey.

Identification:  Rollover pictures with mouse for tips on how to identify these predators. Adults: Often brightly metallic body in a variety of colors; very long, thin legs; long, thin antennae; large mouthparts; large protuding eyes; very fast runners. Larvae: Somewhat grub-like but with obvious legs; very large, flat head that caps the top of tunnels; large, widely spaced mandibles for grasping prey; bristly knobs on back that help to hold larva in tunnel when attacking prey.

Value in Pest Management: These beetles appear to be generalist predators, feeding on any arthropods on the soil they can overwhelm. It is unclear how or if they contribute to pest management. However, where they occur in large numbers, they undoubtedly have an impact on local arthropod populations. They are not sold commercially.

Origin and Distribution:  Native, throughout North America (http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=carabidae).

For More Information:  (LINKS)