Tiger Beetle
Cicindela purpurea
"Purple Tiger Beetle"

mating pair of cicindela
I felt especially lucky on this day to find a mating pair of Cicindela on Antelope Island.  These colorful beetles feed on other insects
and are fascinating  to watch as they fly in short bursts looking for things to eat.  Because they are so swift, it is sometimes hard to sneak
up on them for a photo.  Since these two were otherwise engaged (though I spotted no ring), they let me get a few pictures.
Those tan things
that look like tusks on the green male are the mandibles which they use to hold on to the female during mating. © Carol Davis, 3-15-2009

female tiger beetle
  The female stayed around even longer for this shot. I had never seen a black Cicindela before so this was a treat. Don't ask me
 why it's called the Purple Tiger Beetle, I only post what the experts have identified  :)   © Carol Davis, 3-15-2009

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