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Ant-like Tiger Beetle - Parvindela cursitans - male

Ant-like Tiger Beetle - Parvindela cursitans - Male
Hwy 60 at Mississippi River, Mississippi County, Missouri, USA
June 20, 2009
Though not yet formally recorded from Missouri, good populations of this species have been found in wet bottomland forest along the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri. Unlike most tiger beetle species, which prefer open, sunny situations, these beetles are found almost exclusively within forested areas with an open understory on sandy/loam soils.

The male in this photograph can be distinguished from the female in these photographs by the setal pads on the undersides of the protarsi and the presence of setae on the outer lower surface of the mesotibiae.

Full-sized photograph and more details can be found on my website in the post: Ant-like Tiger Beetle.

Cicindela cursitans:
further corroborating distribution in MO is my one prepared specimen with collection record "MO, New Madrid Co, 2006-VII-24". I had recently sent that apparent new state record to Yves Bousquet for inclusion in his forthcoming revised "Catalogue of the Geadephaga of America North of Mexico"(1993).

We are preparing...
...a manuscript now discussing the Missouri distribution of this species. May we use your record?

Disregard data above. In rechecking, the correct data label mounted with my single Cicindela (Cylindera) cursitans reads: "MO, New Madrid Co, Donaldson Point, 1 Jul 2006, pitfall trap, col. Maupin & Wood". Yes, you me use it. A voucher specimen from same collection event is with Michael A. Maupin, or with advisor Diane Wood (Dept Biology), or already in general collection at Southeast Missouri State University. That was part of a recent carabid inventory project in which 116 specimens were mailed to me for identification. No other tiger beetles appeared in that material. There was talk of doing a paper on the inventory but I received no further correspondence on this matter in past one year. Keep me/us posted on publication related to Missouri cicindelids. Incidentally, C. cursitans was moved to genus Cylindera in recent works by Lorenz (2005), Pearson & Erwin (2008). In the latter reference (Treatise on Western Hemisphere Caraboidea - Vol 2), I do notice that Cylindera (Cylindera) cursitans is already given MO status!

Donaldson Point is one of the locations where we found the species in our rather exhaustive pitfall/visual survey in the bootheel to define its MO distribution. We'll notify when the paper is published.

Erwin & Pearson (2008) based the MO status of this species on the information associated with our study and the photographs that I provided for them to use in their book - so, yes, I guess the species has been properly recorded now from the state with voucher data. Dang, it seems I scooped myself :) No worries, I didn't find the original specimen in the state, nor was I the first to recognize it as such.

I did know about the elevation of Cylindera but didn't notice when uploading the image that BugGuide still has this and all the other subgeneric elevations (Dromochorus, Ellipsoptera, Eunota, Habroscelimorpha) subsumed within Cicindela. I suppose we should ask one of the editors to make the necessary changes.

Yes. recent supraspecific revisions
affecting North American "Cicindelinae"/"Cicindelina" have been largely ignored here at BugGuide - even by several tiger beetle experts who periodically contribute comments. Perhaps they (like you & I) are just going along with the flow/masses in the interest of keeping BugGuide as a practical photographic field guide. As an "editor", I suppose I could single-handedly make the necessary changes consistent with Pearson & Erwin (2008) but my heart isn't in it. Your suggestion for change on this matter has been on my mind for a long time. It should be posed (someday) as a question for Forum discussion - either under Taxonomy Proposals or Guide Page Improvements. Thanks Ted.

...I would have requested the change had I noticed it was still needed when I was uploading my photos.

The debate over current taxonomy versus practicality is well hashed. Personally, I fall solidly in the camp that believes the usefulness of BugGuide is best served by keeping its taxonomy up-to-date. But, of course, I'm a taxonomist so I would be expected to say that. Nevertheless, I find the 'reduced practicality' arguments unconvincing - some people embrace these changes, others resist them, but all, in my opinion, benefit over the long term from the increased knowledge.

I'll make a request now in the Taxonomy forum.

I now see your nicely worded Forum - Taxonomy Proposal. I will wait to weigh in with my thoughts until after seeing opinions of others.

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