Any of some 2,000 species (family Cicindelidae) of voracious beetles, found worldwide but mostly in the tropics and subtropics. The larva waits at the top of its burrow (up to 2 ft, or 0.7 m, deep) and grasps approaching insect prey with sicklelike jaws. Hooks on the abdomen anchor it so that the struggling victim cannot pull away, and the prey is dragged into the burrow and eaten. The slender, long-legged adults, less than an inch (25 mm) long, have long jaws that can inflict a painful bite. Many are iridescent blue, green, orange, or scarlet.
Tiger beetle (Cicindela).—William E. Ferguson
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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