Golden-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta)

The Golden-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta), also known as the Gold-spotted Tiger Beetle, is a striking and vibrant beetle known for its distinctive golden spots and predatory behavior. Here is an overview of this fascinating species:

Appearance

  • Size: Adult beetles are medium-sized, typically measuring about 12 to 15 millimeters in length.
  • Coloration: They have a shiny, metallic green or blue body adorned with bright golden or yellow spots on their elytra (wing covers). The metallic sheen makes them quite conspicuous and beautiful.
  • Legs and Antennae: Their legs and antennae are also metallic and can be green or blue, complementing their overall appearance.
  • Mandibles: Like other tiger beetles, they have large, prominent mandibles used for capturing and subduing prey.

Habitat

  • Preferred Habitats: Golden-spotted Tiger Beetles are usually found in open, sandy areas, including riverbanks, coastal dunes, and forest clearings. They prefer habitats where they can easily spot and chase down their prey.
  • Geographic Range: This species is found in various parts of Southeast Asia, including countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Behavior

  • Feeding: Both adults and larvae are carnivorous. Adults are active predators that hunt small insects and other arthropods. They are fast runners and can also fly short distances to capture prey.
  • Larval Behavior: The larvae live in burrows in sandy or loose soil. They wait at the entrance of their burrow for unsuspecting prey to pass by, quickly grabbing them with their powerful mandibles.
  • Activity: These beetles are diurnal and are most active during the day, particularly in sunny conditions.

Ecological Role

  • Predation: As predators, Golden-spotted Tiger Beetles help control populations of other insects, contributing to the ecological balance in their habitats.
  • Indicator Species: Their presence can indicate a healthy, well-balanced ecosystem, as they are sensitive to habitat changes and pollution.

Interesting Facts

  • Speed: Tiger beetles are known for their incredible speed. They are some of the fastest running insects in the world, capable of sprinting to catch their prey.
  • Visual Hunters: They have excellent vision, with large compound eyes that help them spot and track down prey from a distance.

Identification Tips

  • Metallic Coloration: The iridescent green or blue body with golden spots is the most distinctive feature of the Golden-spotted Tiger Beetle.
  • Habitat: Observing them in sandy, open areas can help with identification, as they are adapted to such environments.

In summary, the Golden-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) is a visually stunning and ecologically important predator found in Southeast Asia. Its striking appearance, predatory behavior, and role in the ecosystem make it a fascinating species to study and observe.

Subscribe to the newsletter: