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(tiger beetles), a subfamily of beetles of the family Carabidae. Although most tiger beetles are 1–2 cm long, some reach a length of 5 cm. The beetles are usually brightly colored and have a metallic sheen; often there are light markings on the elytra. The head is large, the eyes bulging, and the jaws sickle-shaped. There are about 1,500 widely distributed species; they are most common in the tropics. The USSR has 45 species. Most tiger beetles live on the soil surface; others live in trees. The beetles are active daytime predators that feed mostly on insects. They move rapidly in abrupt flights. The larvae, which are also predators, inhabit open holes. Some tiger beetles are useful in destroying injurious insects.