We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature post!

We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature post!

We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature post! The following post was originally published on April 7, 2020.

The six-spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) may be small, but it's definitely one of the more striking insects you're likely to come across. These beetles are often found in open sunlit areas near or within deciduous forests; I've seen a whole bunch on my gravel road. They move very quickly, and if they're being pursued by a predator they can take flight, although they usually don't fly more than 20 or 30 feet (which is a pretty good distance when you're half an inch long). Most of the time, however, six-spotted tiger beetles are the predators in the equation; those large mandibles aren't just for show. They hunt spiders, ants, caterpillars, and other insects, and if you manhandle one, it might even bite you. Fortunately, this doesn't result in much more than a mild pinch -- although it certainly gave six-year-old me a surprise the first time I picked one up!

ABOUT #BenInNature
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends.

If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!

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