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The Miami tiger beetle has an adult emergence from May to September but their larval life history has little documentation. We conduct tiger beetle surveys throughout the pine rocklands and report our data to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as well as the Miami-Dade County preserve managers. We have observed that Miami tiger beetle larvae carefully dig out their burrows by tossing sand inches away from the burrow entrance. Imagine what it would be like to have a hurricane every afternoon during the summer rainy season. So, what happens when it rains and the sand fills the burrow? The Miami tiger beetle larva will excavate the sand again and again when it needs to. We use pennies to mark the burrows for further observation and to account for individuals. A Miami tiger beetle larval burrow will be about the same width as the “we” In God We Trust. The larvae blend into the ground so well that you would naturally think it was a rock but as soon as you cast a shadow over the entrance, you’ll notice a hole instead.
Watch this video of a Miami tiger beetle larvae cleaning out its burrow!