Species of the Month: Green Tiger Beetle Cicindela campestris (May 2024)

The Green Tiger Beetle Cicindela campestris is a distinctive species of ground beetle, the commonest and most widespread of five species of tiger beetle found in the UK. They are approximately 10-15mm in length and are easily recognised by their iridescent green colouration, creamy-yellow spots on their elytra and purple legs. They are often found in patches of bare or sandy ground in heaths, grassland or open woodlands; sunny woodland rides and tracks and brownfield sites are good places to look for them in spring and summer where they run and fly in search of prey.

Bare ground warms up rapidly and provides perfect habitat for both adults and their larvae. Adults are keen and ferocious predators and active hunters of smaller invertebrates like spiders, caterpillars and ants. The larvae live in a cylindrical burrow which acts like a miniature pitfall trap, ambushing prey which accidentally fall down their hole. They may take two or more years to develop into an adult.

In SW Scotland they have been are recorded in all of our local vice counties. Records from sites in East and South Ayrshire would be particularly welcomed.

Malcolm Haddow

SWSEIC Support Officer

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