|University of Kentucky Department of Entomology|
Mystery Bug Answers
Mystery Picture #63
This fearsome beast is a scorpion. Scorpions use their poisonous stingers to capture prey, and as a defense. All scorpions are predators, and they typically will eat anything small enough for them to capture. Most scorpions eat insects and spiders, but some of the larger ones take lizards, snakes, and rodents. Even though scorpions look a lot like insects, they are actually more closely related to spiders. Like spiders, scorpions have eights legs, no antennae, and two body parts (cephalothorax and abdomen).
The scorpion in the picture is an Emperor Scorpion. This is a species that can often be found in pet stores. Like all scorpions, the emperor scorpion can sting and inject poison, but it is not one of the most dangerous species.
Tiger Beetles, like the Six-Spotted Green Tiger Beetle in the picture, are great fliers, and great predators. Six-Spotted Green Tiger Beetles are often seen on trails in Kentucky. The next time you go hiking on a sunny day, keep your eye on the ground about five feet in front of you. If you see shiny green insects repeatedly flying up and away just before you're able to see exactly what they are, you're probably in tiger country!
The larvae of tiger beetles are a lot like antlion larvae. Tiger beetle larvae dig pits in the ground and wait for prey to walk by. When something small enough to capture gets close enough, the larvae reaches out and grabs it.
For more information, check out Tiger Beetle World at: http://members.aol.com/YESedu/home.html
This page is maintained by Pat Dillon, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. Please send questions or suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org