Like many other species of tiger beetle, the eye-catching Lophyra histrio has attractive markings and a striking metallic colouration (3). Its body is black, green and ivory, with darker antler-like marking which contrast with the ivory background of the elytra(3). Two other Lophyra species (Lophyra catena and Lophyra cancellata) share a similar pattern of markings but lack the dark red top leg section of Lophyra histrio(3).
Tiger beetles are generally most easily recognised by their long, thin running legs and streamlined bodies (2). Coupled with their prominent eyes and long, curved mandibles, these features make tiger beetles into fearsome predators (2).
This diurnal insect prefers bright sunny conditions and is often found alongside two other species of tiger beetle, Lophyra fischeri and Lophyra diania(3). Tiger beetles are fearsome predators and rely on fast bursts of speed and excellent eyesight in order to chase down prey (2). Lophyra histrio is known to prey on a variety of invertebrates including flies and ants (3).
Although there is no specific information on the reproductive behaviour of Lophyra histrio, most female tiger beetles dig a number of burrows and lay a single egg in each burrow after mating (4). The egg develops into a larva that is grub-like in appearance with a large head and fearsome mandibles. Tiger beetle larvae are carnivorous, and feed by positioning themselves at the top of their narrow burrows and ambushing small invertebrate prey (2).
Although Lophyra histriohas not yet been classified by the IUCN, tiger beetles in general are drawing attention from conservationists due to their decline in numbers, with many protected under national biodiversity laws (5)(6).
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