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Walking up a steeply sloping track yesterday, we came across a large number (at least 20) Green Tiger Beetles (Cicindela campestris) around a sunny, dry earth bank. They were very active, scurrying about and taking off in flight when disturbed, landing a short distance away, and were very eye-catching with metallic green bodies, purple legs and eyes and cream spots.
Looking close, we could see their long legs, large eyes, strong jaws and their long, sensory bristles, which all help them catch their prey of small invertebrates such as spiders and ants.
There were lots of round holes in the bank – the burrows where the beetles lay their eggs. As the larvae grow, they anchor themselves in the burrow with a spine on their back and lie in wait for small invertebrates. Although, these are the commonest Tiger Beetles in the UK, this was a new experience for us and fantastic to see them buzzing about in the sunshine.
Chinery. M. (1993) Insects of Britain and Northern Europe. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, London.
Chinery M. (2005) Complete guide to British insects. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, London.
Barnard P.C. (2011) Royal Entomological Society Book of British Insects. Wiley-Blackwell