I saw the first Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) of the season on the 19th of March. I’ve seen several others since.
These beetles are often encountered in spring on the path or on the rocks alongside the path between Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild.
Tiger beetles are small (about 1/2″) but fierce predators. However, there’s always something bigger or “badder” out there.
If you’re thinking that perhaps this beetle was stepped upon by a passerby, put that thought to rest. These beetles are too swift of foot and wing to be stepped on by us humans.
It’s difficult to say just what happened to the beetle in the above image, but it appears as though there was a struggle. Perhaps it was another tiger beetle?