If you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a tiger beetle, then you will find that these insects possess interesting bodily designs, and they even have a bit of fuzz growing on their bodies. However, very few people have ever seen a tiger beetle for more than a split second, and this is because they may be one of the fastest insects in the world. Their speed is why there are so few tiger beetle specimens held by academics. And these beetles are so fast that most photographers fail to capture a photo of these majestic looking beetles before they scurry off. So how fast are tiger beetles anyway?
Tiger beetles are astoundingly fast crawlers. For example, the Australian tiger beetle, Cicindela hudsoni, has been recorded moving at two and a half meters per second, which is about 5.6 miles per hour. This makes the Australian tiger beetle the fastest crawling insect in the world. Another Australian species of tiger beetle that is known as Cicindela eburneola is extremely fast as well. It can crawl at a rapid 4.2 miles per hour. This may not sound like a lot when driving your car, but this is an impressive speed for an insect that is the same size as your big toe.
The North American tiger beetle is still fast compared with most insects, but they cannot come close to reaching the speeds of their Australian counterparts. This tiger beetle is referred to as Cicindela repanda, and it can reach speeds of 1.2 miles per hour, which is fast enough for these beetles to temporarily lose their eyesight as a result of the super-high speed movements. These beetles move so quickly that researchers have long wondered how they avoid running into objects in their path. Research now shows that tiger beetles detect oncoming objects with their antennae, which allows them to dodge various objects that would otherwise kill them upon impact.
Have you ever seen a tiger beetle in the wild? If you have, did you try to capture it?