Tiger beetle

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A green tiger beetle
Cicindela aurofasciata from India, showing the large eyes and mandibles

The tiger beetles are a large group of beetles in the family Carabidae. About 2,600 species and subspecies are known, with the richest diversity in the Oriental (Indo-Malayan) region, followed by the Neotropics.[1]

All tiger beetles are predators. They are known for their aggressive predatory habits and running speed. The fastest species of tiger beetle can run at a speed of 9 km/h (5.6 mph), which, relative to its body length, is about 22 times the speed of an Olympic sprinter,[2] the equivalent of a human running at 480 miles per hour (770 km/h).

Tiger beetles live everywhere in the world except the Antarctic and Tasmania. They have powerful jaws, called mandibles, which they use to hold and crush their prey.[3] They have long legs, big eyes, and a wide head. All are colourful. Their elytra are usually bright and have bold markings.

References[change | change source]

  1. Pearson D.L. & F. Cassola 2005
  2. Cornell News, Jan. 16, 1998 When tiger beetles chase prey at high speeds they go blind temporarily, Cornell entomologists learn
  3. Cole, Joanne; Bruce Degen (2001). Magic School Bus, Insect Invaders. United States of America: Scholastic Inc.. pp. 21. ISBN 0-439-31432-1.