Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Brilliant Six Spotted Tiger Beetle

While working on a pile of rocks I would from time to time enjoy the company of these beautiful metallic green insects as they swiftly scurry about. According to Bugs of Ontario, it is a Six Spotted Tiger Beetle.
This spring I have seen numerous such beetles as well as the tiny red spiders. Wherever I happen to be working in the ground I come across at least one. This implies that there is an abundance of these little predators. Both the tiger beetle and the tiny red spiders prey on insect pests like ants or caterpillars for the tiger beetle and aphids for the spiders. 

This property was abandoned around 1968 and largely reforested around 1971. We moved here 10 years ago and have never used any insecticides on the property so one could say that it is very free insect friendly. I wonder if that is why there is such an abundance of these unusual bugs. Never would have dreamed of seeing them in the suburbs of Bells Corners, where we used to live and we might have seen an ant or mosquito.