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Species Tetracha carolina - Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle

Carolina Tiger Beetle - Tetracha carolina Tetracha carolina - male Tetracha carolina? - Tetracha carolina Carolina Tiger Beetle - Tetracha carolina Tetracha carolina tiger beetle - Tetracha carolina - female Tetracha carolina Beautiful colors! I think it’s a beetle. - Tetracha carolina
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Adephaga (Ground and Water Beetles)
Family Carabidae (Ground Beetles)
Subfamily Cicindelinae (Tiger Beetles)
Tribe Megacephalini (Big-headed Tiger Beetles)
Genus Tetracha (Metallic Tiger Beetles)
Species carolina (Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle)
Other Common Names
Pan-American Big-headed Tiger Beetle(1)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Megacephala carolina (Linnaeus)
Explanation of Names
Tetracha carolina (Linnaeus 1767)
Numbers
Formerly considered to contain two subspecies: carolina and floridana. A recent (2007) revision of the genus gives floridana status as a full species -- see discussion and the genus page
Size
12-20 mm(1)
Identification

(Adult) dorsal surface glossy metallic green, often mixed with red or purple; large cream-colored spots (apical lunules) at apex of elytra

Differentiation of larvae of T. virginica vs. T. carolina may be possible. Quoting from Hamilton (2)*
Diameter of ocellus 2 slightly greater than the distance between ocelli 1 and 2; pronotum less than four millimeters in width, color of pronotum a dark purple; secondary setae on abdomen not numerous and found only on the chitinized areas--carolina
Diameter of ocellus 2 slightly less than the distance between ocelli 1 and 2; pronotum 4.5 mm. or more in width, color a dark purplish bronze with a green reflection; secondary setae on abdomen numerous and found between as well as upon the chitinized areas--virginica
Designation of ocelli (simple eyes) (2) (technically stemmata):

Ocellus 1 is large, conical and quite prominent and is on the dorsocaudal part of the head (one red dot on diagram).
Ocellus 2 is similar to ocellus 1 and is located cephalad on the dorsolateral part of the head (two red dots on diagram).
*Note that this key was written before the description of T. floridana.
Range
so. US (CA-FL-VA-OK) to S. America(1)
Habitat
Sandbanks of rivers, pastures, open, disturbed areas; often near water. Hides under boards, rocks, trash, etc. during day.
Remarks
Nocturnal. Comes to lights. Apparently, does not fly often.
See Also

T. impressa (southmost TX)
Works Cited
1.A Field Guide To The Tiger Beetles Of The United States And Canada
David Pearson, C. Barry Knisley, Charles J. Kazilek, David L. Pearson, Barry C. Knisley. 2005. Oxford University Press.
2.Studies on the morphology, taxonomy, and ecology of the larvae of Holarctic tiger-beetles (family Cicindelidae)
Hamilton, Clyde Carney . 1925. Proc. U.S. National Mus. 65: 1-87.