Beetles of North Carolina
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Scientific Name: Common Name:
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View CARABIDAE Members:
Members of Cicindela:
14 NC Records

Cicindela purpurea - Cow Path Tiger Beetle

Compare with: Splendid Tiger Beetle  
Identification Tips: Move the cursor over the image, or tap the image if using a mobile device, to reveal ID Tips.
Note: ID Tips follow Pearson et al., 2015
Photo: Giff Beaton
Family: CARABIDAE Subfamily: CicindelinaeSubgenus: 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: Five subspecies are currently recognized, with only the nominate species occurring in the East (Pearson et al., 2015).
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Resources: BugGuide, Wikipedia, GBIFTechnical 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: Cicindela purpurea is associated with open, montane, upland habitats with patches of bare ground. Those include natural openings in forests and mountain meadows, as well as powerlines, roadsides, and paths. Larvae dig shallow burrows in relatively hard-packed substrates (Pearson et al., 2015).
Diet: Predacious, presumably feeding on a wide variety of small insects and other arthropods
Observation Methods: Easily flushed but often seeking refuge in grass or other herbaceous vegetation (Pearson et al., 2015)
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: We have few records for this species but its use of widespread, common, and in some cases human-created habitats suggests that it may be secure within the state.

Photo Gallery for Cicindela purpurea - Cow Path Tiger Beetle

Recorded by: Max Ramey
Watauga Co.
Recorded by: Giff Beaton
Haywood Co.
Recorded by: E. Corey, B. Roach
Alleghany Co.