Coastal tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Ellipsoptera hamata) inhabit the shores of the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to southern Texas. Adults can be found from April through December but are most common in June. Their striking coloration and patterning, narrow thoraxes, and wide heads with big eyes and large jaws make them easily recognizable when beachcombing or tidepooling.
Like other tiger beetles these insects are predators of other arthropods. Adults are active hunters, and larvae dig holes where they sit in ambush with their jaws agape waiting for prey.