Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Tribe Cicindelini - Flashy Tiger Beetles

Repanda Tiger with Unusual Greenish Tint - Cicindela repanda ZE.44860_Cicindela_parowana_wallisi - Cicindela parowana - male Melissa's Tiger Beetle - Cicindelidia melissa - male Cicindela lengi lengi - Cicindela lengi - male Cicindela pulchra pulchra - Cicindela pulchra - female Cicindelidia punctulata punctulata - Cicindelidia punctulata - male - female Blowout Tiger Beetle_Cicindela lengi - Cicindela formosa Cicindela duodecimguttata - male - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Adephaga (Ground and Water Beetles)
Family Carabidae (Ground Beetles)
Subfamily Cicindelinae (Tiger Beetles)
Tribe Cicindelini (Flashy Tiger Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Historical taxonomy: The species in the tribe Cicindelini were formerly placed in a single genus (Cicindela) until Erwin and Pearson (2008)(1) elevated most subgenera to genus rank. These include Brasiella, Cylindera, Dromochorus, Ellipsoptera, Eunota, Habroscelimorpha, and Opilidia.

Current freeze on Tiger Beetle taxonomy: Not yet reflected by the post-2012 Caraboid Registry nor yet acknowledged by are recent selected taxonomic revisions of Cicindelini that were proposed in the popular field guide A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada, 2nd ed., 2015 by Pearson et al. Revisions therein were credited to comparative DNA analysis by Duran, DP & Gwiazdowski, RA (2015) who apparently reported their results in an unpublished (not peer reviewed) work entitled “Systematic revision of Nearctic Cicindelini (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Cicindelinae): Re-evaluating Rivalier’s taxonomy”.
ca. 2000 spp. worldwide, of which a half formerly assigned to Cicindela arranged into 85 subgenera; ca. 100 sp. in our area(2)
See(3) and Willis (1968).
Males can be distinguished from females by dense hairy pads on protarsomeres 1-3 ("tarsal pads").
Color can be a tricky character, see:
All members of this tribe are predaceous on other insects as both adults and larvae.
Life Cycle
beetles are often seen in pairs, often for mate guarding (the male stays in contact with the female after mating in order to prevent further matings)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed Cicindela ohlone and Ellipsoptera nevadica lincolniana as endangered, and Habroscelimorpha dorsalis dorsalis & E. puritana as threatened
See Also
Elaphrus spp. (BL <10 mm) resemble miniature tiger beetles with large embossed circular spots on elytra
Print References
Willis H.L. (1968) Artificial key to the species of Cicindela of North America north of Mexico (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). J. Kansas Ent. Soc. 41: 303-317 (Full text)
Internet References
Habitus photos of many species (Barcode of Life Systems web site)
Works Cited
1.A treatise on the Western Hemisphere Caraboidea (Coleoptera): Their classification, distributions, and ways of life. Vol. II
Erwin T.L., Pearson D.L. 2008. Pensoft Series Faunistica 84. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia. 400 pp.
2.American Beetles, Volume I: Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia
Arnett, R.H., Jr., and M. C. Thomas. (eds.). 2000. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
3.A field guide to the tiger beetles of the United States and Canada: identification, natural history, and distribution... 2nd Ed.
Pearson D.L., Knisley C.B., Duran D.P., Kazilek C.J. 2015. Oxford University Press. 328 pp.