Beetles of North Carolina
Family (Alpha):
Scientific Name: Common Name:
»
View CARABIDAE Members:
Members of Tetracha:
54 NC Records

Tetracha carolina (Linnaeus 1767) - Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle, Pan-American Big-headed Tiger Beetle


Compare with: Virginia Metallic Tiger Beetle, Virginia Big-headed Tiger Beetle  
Identification Tips: Move the cursor over the image, or tap the image if using a mobile device, to reveal ID Tips.
Note: ID Tips follow Pearson et al., 2015
Photo: F. Williams, S. Williams
Taxonomy
Family: CARABIDAE Subfamily: CicindelinaeSubgenus: TetrachaSynonym: Megacephala virgnica                                                             
Comments: One of 110 species in this genus that occur in the New World and one of only two species that have been recorded in North Carolina (Pearson et al., 2015). Members of this genus were previously included in Megacephala, which contained both New World and Old World species. The genus was split by Naviaux in 2007, with the New World species now treated as Tetracha (Pearson et al., 2015).
Species Status: Four subspecies have been described but only T. carolina carolina occurs north of Mexico (Pearson et al., 2015)
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Evans (2014)Online Resources: BugGuide, Wikipedia, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Knisley and Schultz (1997); Pearson et al. (2015)                                                              
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥
 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) <
 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)
Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is found mainly in low-lying areas, including the edges of rivers, lakes, ponds, and estuaries (Pearson et al., 2015). North Carolina records -- where habitats were identified -- come from waters-edge habitats but also from wet pine savannas and open fields in floodplains. They have also been observed in lawns, gardens, and roadways.
Diet: Predacious, but any preference for certain types of insects is unknown for either larvae or adults
Observation Methods: This species is nocturnal and can be spotted along roads and other open areas using flashlights. They appear to be reluctant to fly and instead scurry about erratically at least while within the beam of the flashlight.
Abundance/Frequency: Widespread and often common when found
Adult Phenology:
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5T5 [S5]
State Protection: As with other North Carolina insects, no state laws provide them any protection. Permits must be obtained, however, to collect them in State Parks and other nature preserves
Comments: Although not often seen due to their nocturnal activity period, this species appears to be widespread and occurs regularly within its broad range of habitat types. Consequently, it seems secure within the state.

Photo Gallery for Tetracha carolina - Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle, Pan-American Big-headed Tiger Beetle

Recorded by: R. Newman
Carteret Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Caleb Garner
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Caleb Garner
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Paul C Hart
United States Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales
Sampson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales
Cumberland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales
Cumberland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales
Cumberland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Donald ZEPP
Johnston Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Donald ZEPP
Johnston Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Caleb Garner
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Scott Bolick
Pender Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Scott Bolick
Pender Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Scott Bolick
Pender Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tom Howard
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Morgan Freese
New Hanover Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Morgan Freese
New Hanover Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: K. Bischof
Beaufort Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Chris & Rachel Helms
Columbus Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: