Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beautiful Tiger Beetle (Cicindela formosa)

Beautiful Tiger Beetle (Cicindela formosa), Just finished eating a lady beetle
As I have previously stated, when you are out and showing the great outdoors, keep your eyes open because you've never know what you will find.  Doug and I were out birding yesterday along the beach loop at Allens Pond, when we noticed some fast-moving insects, running along in the sand.  Because my interest.  This day was photographs of birds.  I was utilizing my Nikon D 800 with my 70-200 mm F/2.8 lens with a 2X converter on it, and was not carrying a macro lens with me.  I utilized my camera lens combination, entered a 1.5 crop factor which gave me a focal length of 600 mm.  With the camera and lens on a monopod I took the photographs of the beetles.  After researching, I determined that the beetle was a Beautiful Tiger Beetle or otherwise known as a Big Sand Tiger Beetle.

Tiger beetles apparently a one of the most popular and most studied beetle groups in the world.  There are 2700 different species described.  They live from high elevation alpine forests to tropical rainforests, deserts to beaches.  Each species occupies a narrow a highly special ties habitat.  Tiger beetles are highly predatory and feed on a variety of insects and spiders.  An interesting fact is that they can run faster than any other known insect.  A quote "Some species have been clocked at over five miles per hour, which may not seem blisteringly fast, but in terms of body size, this makes them almost ten times faster than Olympic sprinters. "

Beautiful Tiger Beetle (Cicindela formosa)  A Pair of Beautiful Tiger Beetles Mating