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Adults are 12–15 millimetres (0.47–0.59 in) long. The elytra and thorax are green, varying in tone from light to dark, spotted with cream-coloured patches, and in bright sunlight are somewhat iridescent. The eyes are blackish; the legs are brown with whitish hairs. The antennae are long and straight, not clubbed.
The adults are sun-loving. They live in places with dry soils (sandy or chalky), mostly between May and October at the latitude of Britain. Like other tiger beetles, they run fast on their long legs and are most often seen on bare ground, in Britain typically on heather moorland. They can fly fast, making a loud buzzing noise.
The larvae are carnivorous. They dig burrows from where they ambush ground-living insects such as ants.
Cicindela campestris is distributed across Europe from Spain in the southwest to Finland in the northeast. Most records are from the UK, Germany, Austria and the south of Sweden. In Britain, records are mainly from dry sandy or heathy areas such as the heathlands of Surrey, Hampshire and Dorset, and the mountains and moorlands of the Scottish Highlands.
The species is divided into several subspecies:
- Cicindela campestris atlantis Mandl, 1944
- Cicindela campestris balearica Sydow, 1934
- Cicindela campestris cyprensis Hlisnikowsky, 1929
- Cicindela campestris nigrita Dejean, 1825
- Cicindela campestris olivieria Brullé, 1832
- Cicindela campestris palustris Motschulsky, 1840
- Cicindela campestris pontica Fischer von Waldheim, 1825
- Cicindela campestris saphyrina Gené, 1836
- Cicindela campestris siculorum Schilder, 1953
- Cicindela campestris suffriani Loew, 1943
- Cicindela campestris calabrica Mandl, 1944
In culture and art
- Chinery, M. page 110
- "Encyclopedia of Life". Cicindela campestris. EOL. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- Rawle, Stephen Andrew (2011). "Opus 43, Cicindela Campestris, for clarinet, violin and piano.". Score Exchange. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- Tully, JG; Whitcomb, RF; Hackett, KJ; Williamson, DL; Laigret, F; Carle, P; Bové, JM; Henegar, RB; Ellis, NM; Dodge, DE; Adams, J (1998). "Entomoplasma freundtii sp. nov., a new species from a green tiger beetle (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae)". International journal of systematic bacteriology 48 (4): 1197–204. doi:10.1099/00207713-48-4-1197. PMID 9828421.
Chinery, Michael. Collins Complete Guide to British Insects. Collins, 2005. ISBN 978-0-00-729899-0