The Eyes of the Tiger

Most are probably aware of Minsmere's impressively diverse range of wildlife (well over 6000 different species now), but many are alarmed to discover the reserve boasts Tigers on the list.  Luckily, these are not the striped cats that would view us as lunch, but the just as elusive Green Tiger Beetle.  These are widespread little beetles, but not that common, so there's been quite a bit of interest from visitors recently trying to spot them.  Sometimes you're lucky and they'll sit out in the open (they do like a nice sunny spot)

Unfortunately, they also like hiding in the undergrowth, laying in wait for prey to wander past.  Tell me this is not scary!

They'll attack and eat pretty much anything that gets near them - bees, flies, spiders, or, like this one, ants

They hunt by spotting the prey and hurtling off towards it - they are one of the fastest animals you'll find in this country!  Bizarrely, they run so fast, their eyesight cannot cope so they're effectively blind whilst in motion.  The hunt is therefore a stop/start affair where it will run towards the prey, stop, look, run again until they can grab their meal with those massive pincers