The western tiger is slightly smaller than our other tiger beetles in Montana (only 11 – 13 mm). Their color can vary from brown, green, purple to black. They are active in May and June (mating), with the next generation appearing in late summer and fall. This beetle seeks out sandy, muddy habitats along rivers and has a 2-year lifecycle with both adults and larvae overwintering. Like other tiger beetles, these guys run extremely fast …so fast that they outrun the capacity of their eyes and brain to process what they are seeing. They literally run themselves blind and need to stop, look around and then continue their pursuit of their prey.
Photo by: Glenn Marangelo on 6/5/21 in Missoula, MT