Tiger Beetles of North Carolina
Scientific Name: Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
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View CARABIDAE Members: 55 NC Records

Cicindela scutellaris - Festive Tiger Beetle



Photo by: Mark Shields

Photo by: Steve Hall

Photo by: Mark Shields
Taxonomy
Family: CARABIDAE Subfamily: Cicindelinae Subgenus: Cicindela                                                             
Comments: One of 38 species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Pearson et al., 2015), 12 of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Species Status: Seven subspecies have been described (Pearson et al., 2015). Both C. scutellaris unicolor and C. s. rugifrons occur in North Carolina, with a broad zone of intergradation running diagonally across the state from the northeastern Piedmont to the southeastern Coastal Plain (see map in Pearson et al., 2015). Both of these subspecies are globally ranked as T5 (NatureServe Explorer, 2018).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Evans (2014)Online Photographs: BugGuideTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Knisley and Schultz (1997); Pearson et al. (2015)                                                              
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥
 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) <
 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)
Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This is a highly psammophilic species, with almost all of our records coming from dry to xeric sandhills dominated by Longleaf Pine, xerophytic oaks, and lichens. Most populations are associated with natural habitats but at least a few have been recorded in sand mines.
See also Habitat Account for Xeric-Mesic Sand Barrens and Glades
Diet: Predacious, presumably feeding on a wide variety of small insects and other arthropods
Observation Methods: As a diurnally active species, the dark green or purple forms of this species are conspicuous against the pale sands of its preferred habitats
Abundance/Frequency:
Adult Phenology:
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5T5 [S3S4]
State Protection: As with other North Carolina insects, no state laws provide them any protection. Permits must be obtained, however, to collect them in State Parks and other nature preserves
Comments: This species is a strong habitat specialist and large areas of its sandhill habitats have been converted to pine plantations, golf courses, and other human uses. Suppression of naturally occurring fires is also changing the once open barrens habitats it prefers to shrub thickets or closed canopy forests. Management recommendations include protection of larval habitats from the impacts of sand-mining, off-road vehicle use, and trampling from human foot-traffic. Where associated with fire-maintained vegetation, prescribed burns should be used to keep the habitats open.

Photo Gallery for Cicindela scutellaris - Festive Tiger Beetle

Recorded by: Mark Shields
Hoke Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields
Hoke Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Scotland Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Scotland Co.
Comment: Male
Recorded by: Mark Shields
Pender Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields
Columbus Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips
Scotland Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Ed Corey
Bladen Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips
Bladen Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips
Bladen Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and John Amoroso
Bladen Co.
Comment: Female -- face is all black (collected; a male with a pure white labrum was also collected). Note the faint apical spots, which are missing in both nigrior and supposedly in pure forms of subspecies unicolor