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Insects and other arthropods

Six-spotted tiger beetle

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Cicindela sexguttata

Tabs group

Description

These tiger beetles are easy to recognize with their iridescent green or blue-green colouring and white-spotted elytra (wing covers). As their name indicates, they usually have six spots, but some specimens have only five, or even two or none at all. They have large eyes and powerful sickle-like mandibles. Their bodies are 10 to 14 mm long.

The brownish larvae have dark heads with large mandibles.

Life cycle

These are some of the rare North American beetles to appear in early spring. The adults overwinter and mate the following spring. The female lays her eggs in the soil. After it hatches, the larva digs a vertical burrow, where it goes through successive moults. Depending on the conditions in this habitat, this stage may last two or three years.

Geographic distribution

Six-spotted tiger beetles are found in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick).

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