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Tags >> West River
May 01

Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle: Our Native Garden Helper with the Big Mouth

Posted by Kirk in West River , North River , Glebe Creek , Flat Creek , Fauna , Crab Creek

Photo: Ted Macrae, Beetles in the Bush

Several times in the last month, I’ve seen a scary looking little fella in the woods around the watershed.   A big, shiny green beetle, he seemed very at home on the ground, and so initially I thought he was some sort of carrion beetle I hadn’t seen before.  I’d seen this type of beetle around water in the same places I’ve seen carrion beetles, and so it seemed like a reasonable guess after the first time I saw him (he was in my sight for about 10 seconds). Getting an idea of its identity was a challenge each time - the big bug just wouldn't stop moving. 

But after a little digging (the metaphorical kind), I figured out that what I had seen was actually a tiger beetle, a distant cousin of the carrion beetle (and not looking at all like our most common carrion beetle species).  Tiger beetles are a big family of aggressive, predatory beetles who tend to live near water.  In Maryland, we have several species of native tiger beetles, ranging from the dubiously rare Puritan Tiger Beetle to a variety of very common and nearly identical brownish-green species of Tiger Beetles with white or cream spots.

Also relatively common, though, is the 6-Spotted Tiger Beetle, who makes a home in several of the South River watershed's smaller creeks and wetlands.  The 6-spotted Tiger Beetle is a beautiful metallic green and spends equal time walking and flying.   These beetles live in seemingly odd places - floodplains where bare sand is piled up, muddy creek banks, and other areas with loose soil and sparse vegetation (but surrounded by dense vegetation), usually near water.

Photo: University of Kentucky

According to the Penn State University Extension Service, predatory beetles like the 6-Spotted Tiger feed on a wide variety of pesty bugs, from crickets to fleas and grasshoppers to gnats.  Large tiger beetles even feed on spiders.  If that diet doesn't sound like a good enough reason to keep tiger beetles around, their ideal habitat makes it easy - tiger beetles prefer areas with variable plant life, a little loose soil and little to no human disturbance.  For this reason, they are commonly found on the edge of residential yards and farm fields.

The next time you see a green flash zipping around your ankles - don't worry - the tiger beetle is on patrol! 

May 13

Bay Restoration Strategy

Posted by RiverKeeper Diana in West River , Warehouse Creek , Tarnans Branch , Severn River , Selby Bay , Rhode River , Pollution , Pocahontas Creek , Patuxent River , North River , Magothy River , Limehouse Cove , Harness Creek , Glebe Creek , Gingerville Creek , Flat Creek , Duvall Creek , Crab Creek , Clean Up , Church Creek , Broad Creek , Brewer Creek , Bell Branch , Beards Creek , Bacon Ridge Branch , Almshouse Creek , Aberdeen Creek


EPA Unveils Chesapeake Bay Restoration Strategy

 The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Strategy is now out as presented by Lisa Jackson (EPA administrator) yesterday.  She stated that only thing needed is money and resources.

I would like to include Three more things:

1)  The absolute old fashion American CAN DO.  With out the can do/will do we will not have anything.

2 ) Much better enforcement,  marinas have put large piers/bulkhead/and pilings into the South River and have only received a 43,000.00 fine, and they did not have to take out the structures that were installed.  So, in reality the company folded the fine into the cost of doing the construction.  The State and Federal agencies need to not only have greater fines but mandate that these structures be removed! 

3)  I would also like to include more education on the true causes of the destruction of the Chesapeake Bay and the South River.  I speak beyond the choir quite often and have learned that most adults really do not know what stormwater runoff it,  they do not know how fertilizer can harm the Bay/River,  they do not realize how poor the infrastructure of our septic and sewer systems is.  I see very well educated folks over-fertilize their lawns in order to get the Crayola crayon green color, instead of managing their lawns in a River-friendly way.