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

Cicindela splendida - Splendid Tiger Beetle

Compare with: Cow Path 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: Vin Stanton
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: No subspecies have been described but there are some color variations (Pearson et al., 2015). Recent DNA studies indicate that splendida may be conspecific with both Cicindela denverensis and C. limbalis (Pearson et al., 2015).
Field Guide Descriptions: Evans (2014)Online Resources: BugGuide, Wikipedia, GBIF                                                              
Structural Features: 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: Our own recent records for this species all come from trails or steep banks along daylighted roads running through otherwise mature montane stands of hardwood forest. Knisley and Schultz (1997) consider this species to be a clay substrate specialist and list exposed moist clay soils along streams in addition to artificially open roadcuts, powerlines, and eroded slopes.
Diet: Predacious, presumably feeding on a wide variety of small insects and other arthropods
Observation Methods: Populations are usually sparse. Once flushed, individuals often fly long distances, making them difficult to observe (Knisley and Schulz, 1997)
Adult Phenology:
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [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 is a strongly localized species that appears to occur in small numbers even within suitable habitat. We have few records for this species and no recent records from the Piedmont. Nonetheless, its habitats appear to be fairly widespread and human-altered areas are readily used. For that reason, it is likely that this species is secure within the state but more information is needed on its distribution -- particularly within the Piedmont -- habitats, and population trends before its conservation status can be accurately known.

Photo Gallery for Cicindela splendida - Splendid Tiger Beetle

Recorded by: Travis McLain
Burke Co.
Recorded by: Morgan Freese
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Peter Dixon
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Marilyn Westphal
Henderson Co.
Recorded by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips
Jackson Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton
Buncombe Co.