Tiger Beetle – Larvae in Hole

Q: We found this interesting bug in our yard. At first we thought it was a snake that was just sticking its head in and out of a hole, but in looking closer we think it is some sort of bug. It lives in a hole that is about 1/2 inch across with no castings of dirt around the entrance. The bug sits in the hole and quickly moves away when it senses something is near.

A: Entomologists Jule-Lynn Macie and Kris Braman say it’s a tiger beetle larvae. Most likely Megacephala carolina or M. virginica. M. carolina is the most common one, making a beautiful metallic green/purple adult. The larva in the picture appears almost full grown and capable of pulling pretty big caterpillars and other insects back down in its hole.

Tiger Beetles of Florida