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)
Formerly considered to contain two subspecies: carolina
. A recent (2007) revision of the genus gives floridana
status as a full species -- see discussion
and the genus page
(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)
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.
so. US (CA-FL-VA-OK) to S. America(1)
Sandbanks of rivers, pastures, open, disturbed areas; often near water. Hides under boards, rocks, trash, etc. during day.
Nocturnal. Comes to lights. Apparently, does not fly often.
T. impressa (southmost TX)