Perfekt adaption - The Northern Dune Tiger Beetle (Cicindela hybrida)
The Northern Dune Tiger Beetle (Cicindela hybrida) lives predominantly on warm, immature sandy soils. It is comparatively hard to observe for it is very shy and usually has a flight distance of about two to three meters.
As a predatory ground beetle the Northern Dune Tiger Beetle generally moves by running on the ground. Its long legs enable it to move very quickly. After short distances it pauses again and again in order to descry potential prey animals. Its strong ivory-like mandibles already reveal that it is a predator and catches and dismembers prey with them.
It hunts everything it is able to overbear, but mainly ants. They are grabbed, quickly killed and afterwards divided by means of the strong mandibles. It eats nearly everything, even the chitin carapaces of the prey animals.
The dry, warm and sandy immature soils are not only a feeding habitat, but also a breeding habitat for the Northern Dune Tiger Beetle. After copulating the female digs a channel, which is a few centimetres deep, into the soil. At the end of the channel it digs a small breeding chamber. Here it lays the eggs.
After eclosing the young beetle larvae creep up to the ground surface at night and look for a suitable place to dig their interceptor channel.
Like shown on the photo you can almost never watch the larvae, and if you manage to do so then only at night.
They have a worm-like, curved, stiff-bristled body on whose backside there are two humps provided with dagger-like thorns. The stunted legs are hardly appropriate to move on the ground surface.
So the picture report continues:
- Building of the interceptor channel of the beetle larva
- Hunting strategy of the larva
- Hunting strategy of the adult beetle
- Strategy of the main enemy of the beetle larva
- Adaption to extreme living conditions
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