I think this set of photos of a captive Cicindela larva lunging at prey can speak for itself:

I wanted to  capture the amazing moment when a tiger beetle larva captures prey so I took my Canon 7D, set it to 720p, 60 fps in video mode, and waited for the larva to come to the burrow mouth. Once the larva was at the ready I dropped a small prey item, in this case a Red Flour beetle (larva and adult), and dropped it as close to the edge of the tube in which the larva was set up; this process was repeated twice.  The strike at the prey was so fast only when the video was played back frame-by-frame was I able to see the process. For the video of each prey items I selected one frame from before the larva struck and one at the moment at  the moment of the strike itself.

3 responses

  1. Prey ID? I’m guessing rootworm larva on the left and red flour beetle on the right.

    Are these stills from video?

    I want details, man, details!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:01 pm

  2. yes – both prey are Red Flour beetles (larva and adult) – taken from a 60 fps video (post has been updated with more info)

    July 9, 2010 at 11:44 pm

  3. I have been looking for photos of the larva (or “camel worms” as I was raised to call them) for a while today and these are the only good shots I could find! I think trying to catch the moment of truth like that was an awesome idea – like capturing a shark jumping – and it is something that I have never seen (they have eaten my offerings but never when I was looking). No wonder I could never catch them in the act! What species is this and is it easy to determine the species from the larval stage? I live in GA and have plenty scattered in my yard… but I don’t know if it is the six spotted kind or something else. Did you capture the specimen with a blade of grass like in the country and is it possible to breed them in large numbers? Keep up the good work!

    August 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm

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