Home Importance Ants of Nebraska Butterflies of Nebraska Carrion Beetles of Nebraska Tiger Beetles of Nebraska
Carrion Beetle Genera County Records
Genera Amblycheila Genera Cicindela Genera Tetracha
Pan-American Big-Headed Tiger Beetle




Tetracha carolina carolina (Linnaeus)
Adult Length: 14 to 19 mm
Appearance: Adults of this species are shiny green with strong purple and pink reflections dorsally. The elytra have numerous tiny pits present, particularly across the front half. Maculation consists of a large apical patch on each elytron. The appendages are pale brownish.
Similar Species: This species could be confused with T. virginica. It differs in that it has a prominent apical marking, while T. virginica lacks such a marking entirely. Tetracha virginica is usually a bit larger and normally lacks strong purple to pink reflections.
Biology: This species prefers moist areas. It can be found near water in habitats such as beaches and sandbars, mudflats, and can even be found in cultivated fields. Though the adults can fly, they normally only do at night. Like those of T. virginica, the adults are primarily nocturnal and crepuscular, and may be attracted to lights at night.
Adult Life History: Adults emerge from the pupa mostly in June and July and some may survive into October. Peak numbers are found in July and August. It is a summer species.
Larval Life History: Little is known about the larvae of this species. They are likely similar to those of T. virginica. Larval development likely requires two years.
Biogeography: Though there is a specimen in the UNL collection from Lincoln, it is possibly a mislabeled one. However, Bruner (1901) reports both it and T. virginica from the Lincoln area and points south. This species is primarily a southern one, and occurs from Arizona and New Mexico east to North Carolina. The northernmost part of its range in the Great Plains reaches northern Oklahoma and the southern edge of Kansas, but it could potentially range further north near the Missouri River. A recent Nebraska collection would be a major find.