This is the Tiger Beetle, one of Britain's rarest insects - and your help is needed to find them
You may have heard in the national & local news, Dorset has suffered from several heathland fires over the summer period.
The hot dry conditions have created a tinderbox from the heather and gorse covered landscape. Our retained and on-call firefighters battled the multiple blazes, hampered by the wind and re-ignition issues.
Heathland near Upton, Hamworthy and Ferndown Common have the perfect habitat for the Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela campestris), which is one of Britain’s rarest insects. It is believed they only survive in coastal sandy environments of Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex.
The Green Tiger Beetle, named for its dazzling metallic green colour, with purple-bronze legs and eyes, and large creamy spots on the wing cases. There are four rarer species of tiger beetle, which are either much smaller or purple-grey with creamy spots. You can catch sight of these large agile predators in bright sunny conditions, running across the sand dunes to catch their prey with a set of ferocious jaws. Being one of Britain’s fastest insects the Green Tiger Beetle boasts long legs which aids chase after spiders, caterpillars and ants. You might even catch sight of them in flight when disturbed in the grassland and woodland sites.
The Wildlife Trust work closely with farmers, landowners and planners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. A couple of years ago, The Species Recovery Trust & Dorset Wildlife Trust sought eagle eyed volunteers to help survey them in our regions.
Have you been lucky enough to discover a Green Tiger Beetle?