Tiger Beetles (Cicindelinae)


Note: Most of these were identified using Paul Choate's excellent guide "Tiger Beetles (A Field Guide and Identification Manual for Florida and Eastern US)."  Thanks to Paul, Mike Thomas, Dan Duran and Terry Erwin for help with ID and help in locating species outside of GA, to Steve Krotzer for help finding species in AL, and Dirk Stevenson in GA. I have enjoyed many wonderful days in the field with these gentlemen over the years. Also for out of state help: Joey Holmes in SC, Lyn Atherton in FL, Greg Lasley in TX, Judy Semroc in OH and Stephen Cresswell in WV. The species are listed in taxonomic order, recently revised to follow Erwin and Pearson below.  Click here for a list of Georgia species. Most of these scans are from GA, but there are a few from other states as well including a few species which do not occur in GA at the very bottom. If you are looking for tigers in the southeast, you need to get the Florida book mentioned above and also "A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada" by Pearson et al. Other useful books include "The Biology of Tiger Beetles and a Guide to the Species of the South Atlantic States" by Knisley and Schultz and "Tiger Beetles" by Pearson and Vogler.

Note: It is difficult to get an appreciation for the variation between members of the same species from guides which only have one or two images per species, so I have tried to illustrate examples of extremes for many of the species below.

New: A recent book "A Treatise on the Western Hemisphere Caraboidea (Coleoptera): Their Classification, distributions, and ways of life" has recently been published by Erwin and Pearson, and I have revised the classification on this page to reflect that. The most noticeable change is the elevation of several subgenera to full genera.


Genus Tetracha   Metallic Tiger Beetles  Note: formerly Megacephala   

Tetracha carolina carolina
 

20 Jun 2005, Sweetwater Creek, Liberty County, FL

I was standing in the creek looking for odonates, when I heard a plop next to me. This beetle had fallen from a bridge overhead, and proceeded to swim vigorously to shore, where I got these shots. Impressive swimming ability.


Tetracha carolina carolina
 

24 Jun 2007, central AL


  Tetracha carolina carolina
 

4 Aug 2008, Sheperd Island, Arkansas River, Jefferson County, AR


Tetracha carolina carolina
 

10 Jul 2010, Calhoun County, FL


  Tetracha virginica
 

3 Jul 2007, Dixie County, FL


Tetracha virginica
 

10 Jul 2008, Dixie County, FL


Tetracha virginica
 

10 Jul 2010, Econfina WMA, Washington County, FL


Genus Cicindela  Common Tiger Beetles

Larvae

Cicindela sp. larva.

21 Aug 2006, central AL

Steve Krotzer and I found this larva crawling out on open sand, probably due to the parasite visible at lower right. It's a good look at the structure of a tiger beetle larva...

   
   
Tiger beetle larvae.

Top row is two C. repanda burrows showing characteristic pellet throw pattern.

Next row is two Tetracha larvae and bottom row are two Cicindela larvae.

   
Subgenus Cicindela

  Cicindela (Cicindela) repanda

20 Aug 2003, Altamaha River at US 301, Long County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) repanda

21 Aug 2003, Altamaha Regional Park, Glynn County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) repanda (incomplete markings)

27 Mar 2004, River Bend WMA, Laurens County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) repanda

14 Jun 2006, Big South Fork of Cumberland River at TN 297, Scott County, TN


Cicindela (Cicindela) duodecimguttata

13 Jun 2006, Little Piney Creek at TN 62, Putnam County, TN

 

Cicindela (Cicindela) duodecimguttata

12 Sep 2007, Conasauga River at Old Hwy 2, Murray County, GA

   

Cicindela (Cicindela) duodecimguttata

31 May 2009,  Cheat River, Randolph County, WV


Cicindela (Cicindela) ancocisconensis

31 May 2009,  Cheat River, Randolph County, WV


Cicindela (Cicindela) hirticollis

21 Aug 2006, central AL

Inland river forms are usually browner with very prominent markings

 


Cicindela (Cicindela) hirticollis

3 Oct 2006, Little St Simons Island, Glynn County, GA

Atlantic coastal forms are usually darker backed with weaker markings.

 


Cicindela (Cicindela) hirticollis

4 Aug 2008, Shepherd Island, Arkansas River, Jefferson County, AR

   

Cicindela (Cicindela) hirticollis

29 Sep 2008, Little St Simons Island, Glynn County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) purpurea

24 Sep 2007, near Burrville, Morgan County, TN


Cicindela (Cicindela) purpurea

25 Sep 2008, near Burrville, Morgan County, TN


Cicindela (Cicindela) splendida

12 May 2004, near Young Harris off US 76, Towns County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) splendida

21 Sep 2004, near Young Harris off US 76, Towns County, GA

 


Cicindela (Cicindela) splendida

1 Oct 2007,McNamara property near Hiawassee, Towns County, GA

 


Cicindela (Cicindela) sexguttata

22 Apr 2004, High Falls State Park, Monroe County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) sexguttata

22 Apr 2004, River Bend WMA, Laurens County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) sexguttata

Note the individual at lower left is immaculate, or without spots.

26 May 2004, Helton Creek off US 19, Union County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) sexguttata (this is a very strongly-marked individual)

14 Apr 2006, McGraw-Ford WMA, Cherokee County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) patruela

26 May 2007, central OH


Cicindela (Cicindela) scutellaris unicolor

19 Oct 2003, Starkey Wilderness Park, Pasco County, FL

Most FL populations are unmarked.


Cicindela (Cicindela) scutellaris unicolor

28 Sep 2004, G Smith State Park, Emanuel County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) scutellaris unicolor

28 Sep 2004, Kite area, Johnson County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) scutellaris unicolor

27 Oct 2004, Yuchi WMA, Burke County, GA

Note that individuals with apical lunule markings (lower left) can easily be told from C nigrior which is always unmarked.


Cicindela (Cicindela) nigrior  (green form)

23 Oct 2006, Aiken County, SC

Note: Separated from C scutellaris unicolor with care, note labrum features such as color in males and size of teeth.


Cicindela (Cicindela) nigrior  (black form)

8 Nov 2006, Okaloosa County, FL

 


Cicindela (Cicindela) tranquebarica tranquebarica

21 Sep 2004, near Young Harris off US 76, Towns County, GA

 


  Cicindela (Cicindela) tranquebarica tranquebarica

27 Oct 2004, Yuchi WMA, Burke County, GA


  Cicindela (Cicindela) tranquebarica tranquebarica

13 Apr 2005, near Boggy Gut, Richmond County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindela) tranquebarica tranquebarica

Fall 2006, field along US 76, Union County, GA.      Nearly unmarked examples.


subgenus Cicindelidia

  Cicindela (Cicindelidia) punctulata

This beetle flushed up onto this grass to try to hide from me... and stayed there.

7 Jul 2004, Broxton Rocks TNC Preserve, Coffee County, GA


  Cicindela (Cicindelidia) punctulata

2 Jul 2006, McGraw-Ford WMA, Cherokee County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) punculata

25 Aug 2006, Walker County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) abdominalis

30 Jul 2003, Ohoopee Dunes Natural Area, Emanuel County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) abdominalis

14 Aug 2006, G Smith State Park, Emanuel County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) abdominalis

14 Jul 2008, Lowndes County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) abdominalis

12 Jul 2010, Econfina WMA, Washington County, FL


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) scabrosa

3 Jul 2007, Dixie County, FL

 


  Cicindela (Cicindelidia) rufiventris rufiventris

7 Jun 2004, Field off US 76 near Young Harris, Towns County, GA, USA       


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) rufiventris rufiventris

7 Jun 2004, Field off US 76 near Young Harris, Towns County, GA, USA       

Both this species and abdominalis have red abdomens, but abdominalis is smaller with a shiny elytra, not dull orange-peel like rufiventris. Most are relatively unmarked like this one. 


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) rufiventris rufiventris

7 Jun 2004, Field off US 76 near Young Harris, Towns County, GA, USA       


  Cicindela (Cicindelidia) rufiventris rufiventris

2 Jul 2006, McGraw-Ford WMA, Cherokee County, GA    


  Cicindela (Cicindelidia) rufiventris rufiventris

6 Sep 2006, Field off US 76 near Young Harris, Towns County, GA, USA               


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) trifasciata ascendens

20 Aug 2003, St Simons Island, Glynn County, GA


  Cicindela (Cicindelidia) trifasciata ascendens

21 Aug 2003, Big Hammock WMA, Tatnall County, GA


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) trifasciata ascendens

17 Oct 2003, Reed Bingham State Park, Cook County, GA


  Cicindela (Cicindelidia) trifasciata ascendens (incomplete markings)

18 May 2004, Yuchi WMA, Burke County, GA


  Cicindela (Cicindelidia) trifasciata ascendens (well marked)

12 Oct 2007, Jekyll Island, Glynn County, GA


Genus Cylindera  Rounded-thorax Tiger Beetles

Cylindera (Cylindera) unipunctata

23 Apr 2004, Unicoi State Park, White County, GA


Cylindera (Cylindera) unipunctata

24 May 2004, Conasauga River, Polk County, TN

 


Cylindera (Cylindera) unipunctata

26 May 2004, Helton Creek off US 19, Union County, GA


Genus Ellipsoptera  Ellipsed-wing Tiger Beetles

Ellipsoptera marginata

21 Aug 2003, Jekyll Island, Glynn County, GA


Ellipsoptera marginata

21 Aug 2003, Jekyll Island, Glynn County, GA

 


  Ellipsoptera marginata

19 Oct 2003, Honeymoon Island State Park, Pinellas County, FL


Ellipsoptera marginata

8 Jul 2003, Jekyll Island, Glynn County, GA


Ellipsoptera blanda

9 Aug 2007, Barrington Park, McIntosh County, GA

 


Ellipsoptera blanda

20 Jul 2010, Ohoopee River, Tatnall County, GA

 


Ellipsoptera wapleri

9 Aug 2007, Blackwater River, Okaloosa County, FL

 


Ellipsoptera wapleri

11 Jul 2010, Cypress Pond Creek, Okaloosa County, FL

 

   

  Ellipsoptera gratiosa

18 Jun 2005, sandy road near Clear Creek, Gadsden County, FL

 


Ellipsoptera gratiosa

18 Aug 2008, Peachtree Rock Preserve, Lexington County, SC

 


  Ellipsoptera gratiosa

10 Jul 2010, Econfina WMA, Washington County, FL

 


Ellipsoptera hirtilabris

11 Sep 2004, G Smith State Park, Emanuel County, GA

In scan at lower left, note labrum covered by decumbent setae to distinguish from gratiosa.

These beetles are about 110 miles north of any other known records for this species.


Ellipsoptera hirtilabris

28 Sep 2004, G Smith State Park, Emanuel County, GA

 


Ellipsoptera hirtilabris

10 Sep 2005, G Smith State Park, Emanuel County, GA

Note the ant!


Genus Habroscelimorpha  Habro Tiger Beetles

Habroscelimorpha dorsalis media

20 Aug 2003, St Simons Island, Glynn County, GA


Habroscelimorpha dorsalis media

8 Jul 2004, Jekyll Island, Glynn County, GA


Habroscelimorpha dorsalis media

21 Jul 2010, Little St Simons Island, Glynn County, GA


Tiger Beetles below here are from other locations in North America and do not occur in GA.

Cicindela (Cicindela) scutellaris leconteii

6 Sep 2008, Oak Openings, Lucas County, OH

 

Cicindela (Cicindela) longilabris

13 Jul 2004, Glacier National Park, MT


Cicindela (Cicindela) formosa generosa

27 Jun 2004, Sand Plain in Hartford County, CT

 


Cicindela (Cicindela) formosa generosa

6 Sep 2008, Oak Openings, Lucas County, OH

 


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) highlandensis

13 Jul 2008, Polk County, FL, USA   

 


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) cazieri

15 May 2010, Private ranch, Starr County, TX, USA       

This very early date is likely due to unseasonal rains...

 


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) ocellata rectilatera

6 Aug 2004, San Marcos River near Luling, Caldwell County, TX


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) marginipennis

21 Aug 2006, central AL

Note: This species has not been recorded from GA yet, but it might be here if we have any of the right habitat, which I have not found yet.


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) marginipennis

24 Jun 2007, central AL


Habroscelimorpha dorsalis saulcyi

8 Jul 2008, Alligator Point, Franklin County, FL


Habroscelimorpha pamphila

12 May 2010, Boca Chica, Cameron County, TX


Habroscelimorpha severa

3 Jul 2007, Dixie County, FL


Habroscelimorpha severa

15 Sep 2008, Dixie County, FL


Habroscelimorpha striga

3 Jul 2007, Dixie County, FL

   

Habroscelimorpha striga

10 Jul 2008, Dixie County, FL


Eunota togata

Upper two are same shot, left image shows behavior of resting in shade and right is closeup of beetle.

3 Jul 2007, Dixie County, FL


Cylindera (Cylindera) cursitans

21 Aug 2006, central AL


Cylindera (Cylindera) cursitans

24 Jun 2007, central AL

You can see how tiny this species is...


Ellipsoptera cuprascens

3-4 Aug 2008, Shepherd Island, Arkansas River, Jefferson County, GA

 

 

  Ellipsoptera hamata lacerata

19 Oct 2003, Honeymoon Island State Park, Pinellas County, FL


Ellipsoptera hamata lacerata

3 Jul 2007, Dixie County, FL


Ellipsoptera hamata lacerata

9 Jul 2008, Franklin County, FL

The bottom left image is an individual infested with mites. Ft DeSoto County Park, FL


Ellipsoptera lepida

27 Jun 2004, Sand Plain in Hartford County, CT

 


Ellipsoptera lepida

16 Jul 2010, central AL

 


Ellipsoptera puritana

28 Jun 2004, Connecticut River, Portland, Middlesex County, CT

This endangered species is found only in the NE US.


Ellipsoptera sperata

6 Jun 2008, Colorado River, Travis County, TX


Tiger Beetles below here are from other countries. Thanks to Dan Duran for the identifications.

  Cicindela (Cicindelidia) trifasciata trifasciata

10 Apr 2009, St James Bay, Antigua


Odontocheila confusa     Maybe.

29 Jun 2010, Janauari Island, Rio Negro, Amazonas State, Brazil


  Specimen of above beetle

Opilidia macrocnema macrocnema

11 Jan 2008, Puntachame Beach, Panama


Cicindela (Cicindelidia) carthagena carthagena

6 Feb 2008, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

(Lower right is C. macrocnema)

 


 

Pentacomia sp.

29 Jun 2010, Janauari Island, Rio Negro, Amazonas State, Brazil


  Specimen of above beetle

   

     

   

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