This shiny beetle can range in color from green to purple, and is often called the Purple Tiger Beetle. They are widely distributed across North America, except for in the SE and parts of the SW US. These insects are FAST. Tiger beetles have been clocked running at 1.38 feet per second (about 29 body lengths). That may not sound like a lot, but factoring in their size, it’s similar to a grizzly bear running over 135 miles per hour. They actually run so fast, that they outrun the capacity of their eyes and brain to process what they are seeing fast enough …so they literally run themselves blind and need to stop, look around and then continue their pursuit of their prey.
Photo by Kristi DuBois on 4/10/10 at the Point of Rocks trail near Alberton, MT.