Tiger Beetles (Cicindelidae)

Tiger Beetles are gracious and pretty insects often adorned with bright colors.

Cicindela campestris pontica. TURQUIE, 1982.Cicindela regalis. CONGO, 1971.

They are very recognizable by their broad head with prominent eyes; their antennae are thread-like, and their legs are long and slender.

Cicindela campestis. BELGIQUE, 1971.

The larvae, like the adults, are very carnivorous; they hide in vertical burrows, lying in wait for prey passing within range of their sharp, sickle-shaped mandibles. The pupation takes place in the burrow where the larva lived and which it seals before turning into an adult.

In France, there are a dozen species of tiger beetles; the adults have a predilection for sandy and sunny places. Very active, they run quickly and fly away at the slightest alarm.

Tiger beetles are generally regarded as a subfamily of Ground beetles, but some entomologists classify them as a true family.