Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle face

A head-on shot of the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle.

The Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) is a ground beetle common in forest areas in all parts of Maryland.

The beetle is found in most of the northeastern United States, north into Canada and to south, around Kentucky. It can fly, obviously, but usually will only take off if startled, and even then, will only fly a short distance. It’s pretty common to find the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle walking along forest paths or within logs and fallen trees.

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle reaer

This rear view of the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle shows the white rear spots from which the beetle gets its name.

Its appearance is fairly unique compared to other beetle found in Maryland.

The coloring on the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle is very striking. Specimen can be blue or green, but the color is always bright and shiny, almost sparkling. In fact, when I first saw the one picture above on a trail at Eastern Neck, I thought it was a piece of glass. The mandibles are white and eyes are a blue-purple.

The feature for which thise beetle gets its name is located at its rear. Two white spots on its end and two more on either side form the six-spotted pattern. Its rare, but sometimes you may see a Six-spotted Tiger Beetle without the spots. In this case, white mandible and body coloring should help you identify it.

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