Cicindela duodecimguttata (Dejean, 1825)EditArthropods (Arthropoda)---Insects (Insecta)---Beetles (Coleoptera)---Adephaga---Ground beetles (Carabidae)---Tiger beetles (Cicindelinae)---Cicindelini---Cicindela----Cicinelda duodecimguttata
The Twelve-spotted tiger beetle is one of the commonest species around the Edmonton area of Alberta. They can be found on scrubland and more commonly sandy ground and gravel near streams and lakes (Astotin lake in Elk Island NP has many of them around the shoreline in the summer). Tiger beetles have a painful bite if handled and they run quickly over flat ground and prey on soft-bodied insects, such as caterpillars. This species was formerly considered as a subspecies of C. repanda, the Common shore Tiger beetle.
The markings on this species are quite variable, sometimes all of them are fused, and sometimes none of them, when you are beginning to learn tiger beetles it is easy to mistake them for different species (since most tiger beetles are identified from small differences in marks). The larvae of tiger beetles bury themselves in the ground with their jaws poking out, much like an antlion larva, and they ambush any passing insects. Another very similar tiger beetle is the Oregon tiger beetle, C. oregona, there is an area in the Rocky mountains foothills where these two species sometimes hybridize, these hybrids can be difficult to recognize due to the varying patterns of both species,