Tiger beetles : Cicidela japonica
I came across a tiger beetle,
an old friend of mine, on a woodland path the other day. It's elytra shone
lustrously in the bright summer day. When I was younger, I was keen on collecting
insects. So I used to run after tiger beetles in my childhood. A good old
memory rushed into my mind.
"Tiger beetle" is an appropriate name for these fierce and
swift cicidelids, which stalk their prey along sandy banks on roadside
and woodland paths. They are rather small, slender insects, just about the
color of the sand or dirt upon which they run. However, one of the commonest
species in Japan (Cicidela japonica) is a brilliant metallic green,
cobalt blue and bronze-colored, like a precious jewel or it may be intricately
designed like an exquisite brooch. When you approach a tiger beetle, it
will run for a few feet, then fly to the ground for several more feet; as
it alights it will turn to face you. In Japan, because of that behavior,
tiger beetles are named "Michi-oshie" or "Show me the way."
Like a boy, I ran after the tiger beetle, filled with the nostalgic
memories of my childhood, but I could hardly touch it. And I just missed
grabbing hold of my good old days. They eluded me again.
C'est la vie.