Green tiger beetle
The green tiger beetle cicindela campestris is common in much of Britain and often spotted by walkers along tracks in dry New Forest heathlands and, to a lesser extent, in woodland.
These powerful hunters are carnivorous, flying in strong sunshine from March to October, but only in numbers up to July. They have long legs to assist with fast running, large eyes and jaws to spot and devour invertebrate prey, fully warranting the name ‘Tiger’.
The larvae dig pits along tracks, in order to set a trap for unsuspecting invertebrates, before pouncing with strong jaws. They typically feed in rotting wood debris in cavities and hollows.
Watch out for these beetles on tracks or more likely, they will be wary of you, flying up from a track and alighting further along.
Photos: Paul D. Brock