Species of the Month - April 2012
Green Tiger Beetle
This beetle is instantly recognisable and can't be mistaken for anything else. It likes bare dry ground that warms up quickly in the sun and you will often see it running across a track in open country or a forestry track if not too shaded. It lives by hunting other invertebrates such as ants and spiders.
The beetles are about 12-17 mm long and will fly a short distance when disturbed.
Through the winter the beetle larva has been living in a hole in the ground and catching any prey that happened to walk past. But in April it becomes an adult and changes its tactics, actively running after prey on its fast legs. In July or August it lays its eggs in the burrows where the larvae will live until the following spring.
Of the world's 2300 tiger beetle species, this is the only one that endures the Scottish climate. They need plenty of sun to give them the energy to chase their prey, and could not have had a very good time of it last year, so it will be interesting to see if they are around in any numbers this season.
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None were seen in April due to the exceptionally cold conditions. I saw one on 19 May and one on 21 May, both near Kilninver, and one on 22 May at Taynuilt
Mar 2012 - March Moth