Species of the Month - April 2012

Green Tiger Beetle

Cicindela campestris

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.

Cicindela campestris

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.

Cicindela campestris   Cicindela campestris

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.

Please send in your Green Tiger Beetle sightings using the form below.

Date of sighting 
Grid reference 
Number seen 
Name of finder 
Your name (if different) 
Email (not needed if I already know it!) 
Any other details, e.g habitat, behaviour 


By filling in this form you agree that the information contained in this form may be collated and disseminated manually or electronically for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses in accordance with the LNHG data access policy.  Your email address will not form part of the record and will not be passed on to anyone.

Carl Farmer
G Biological Records Manager

Sightings so far

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

Note you can still send in records for past species of the month.  Here is the list of species we've had so far:

Mar 2012 - March Moth
Feb 2012 - Barren Strawberry
Jan 2012 - Brambling
Dec 2011 - Red Squirrel
Nov 2011 - Hazel Gloves
Oct 2011 - Small Tortoiseshell
Sep 2011 - Fly Agaric
Aug 2011 - Grass of Parnassus
Jul 2011 - Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Jun 2011 - 7-spot Ladybird
May 2011 - Green Hairstreak
Apr 2011 - Townhall Clock

Mar 2011 - Frogspawn

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All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated