Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cicindela sexguttta

Originally uploaded by tardigrade
My dear friend goes back to Ohio where she was born and raised and where her parents live, at least once a year. She helped me many times at Mugu catch tiger beetles. Then one year she and her mother were walking along the beach of Lake Erie on a path she had taken since she was a tiny person, and she spotted something familiar - TIGER BEETLES!

Quick! catch them! She told her mother. "WHAT?"
her mother exclaimed wondering whether there was some horrible animal coming after them. "Tigers!" yelled my friend. "What do you mean, TIGERS? I don't see any tigers!" her mother yelled back. "Down there on the ground next to the water!" "Those beetles????" as one jump past her. 'Woooooosh!' "How are we gonna catch these bugs??? They are too fast!" her mother said. "Like this!" and my friend jumped on a mating pair.

She showed the struggling beetles to her mother by carefully holding them in her fingers.

"Aren't they beautiful!" she said. "Yes, But now what are you going to do?" her mother asked. "Catch more for Terry!"

So, my friend and her mother caught about 18 tigers and then my friend brought them back for me - alive, well most of them. I put them in an aquaria and fed them flies, big and small, spiders and earwigs. Then I had an ant attack and many of the tigers died. Finally the last of the Ohio tigers passed, but they left a number os suspicious holes in the sand - larvae.

I raised fruit flies in my kitchen... this is not really recommended.... by letting a banana get over ripe near the tank. Then I put the spoonful of red wine in a spoon next to the larvae, but not too close.

Anyway, after over a year, and more ant attacks, I thought all I had was one larvae left. I didn't see the hole anymore.... and I was worried. I decided to dump the sand and see if there were any wiggling... and instead I found something white with black legs.. and it was alive!

I put it in the sun and the outer coating of the tiger started to harden so it could walk.

Isn't it pretty?

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