Diagnostic DescriptionRead full entry
This species can be confused with several other metallic green species with reduced maculations. However, the western range and grassland habitat of several of these, such as the green claybank tiger beetle and the cochise tiger beetle, do not overlap with that of the six-spotted tiger beetle. Several green subspecies of the festive tiger beetle do occur in the same area and habitat, but they have stouter bodies with more rounded elytra, and the females have dark upper lips (labra). The green form of the northern barrens tiger beetle often occurs in the same habitat as the six-spotted tiger beetle, but it can be distinguished by its duller color and a complete middle line on the elytra. The closely related and extremely similar Laurentian tiger beetle is distinguished by larger size, differences in genitalia, and non-overlapping range in boreal forests (Pearson et al., 2006).
It may be easily confused with Cicindela patruela and Cicindela scutellaris rugifrons, but appears brighter in coloration due to its smoother microsculpture. The maculation pattern of C. patruela is more complete and includes a transverse middle band (Knisley and Schultz, 1997).
Adult from Knisley and Schultz (1997): "Body length is 11-13 mm. The dorsal and ventral surfaces are usually shiny and iridescent. The head and pronotum are usually the same color as the elytra. The front and top of the head are covered with white hairs. Elytra appear rather convex with maculations reduced or absent. If present, maculations consist of a small humeral spot, a triangular mark representing the marginal end of the middle band, and an apical lunule variably connected to an apical dot."
Adult from Leonard and Bell (1999): "10 to 14 mm in length. Strikingly beautiful metallic blue-green beetle (blue when viewed from an angle) with maculations reduced to 6 white spots along the outer rear edge of the elytra. An unmistakable tiger beetle, and often the first one noticed in the early career of a cicindelaphile. In a very few specimens the humeral lunule is represented by a small anterior dot, or in others the remnants of the middle band is present as an extremely thin band and a discal dot. Other specimens have the maculations greatly reduced or absent. The frons is hairless. The labrum has 3 teeth, the genae are glabrous."
Third instar from Leonard and Bell (1999): "20 to 24 mm. The maxillary palpus has three segments. The U-shaped ridge at the caudal end of the frons bears two setae. The first segment of the antenna has 5 or 6 setae, while the second segment has 9 or 10 setae. According to Hamilston (1925), this is the only species in which the dorsal hairs on the head and pronotum are a uniform light chestnut brown color. The head and pronotum are without any trace of metallic color, and the pronotum has no color pattern (as do Cicindela formosa generosa larvae). The inner hooks have 2 setae."