Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Little White Tiger Beetle (Cicindela lepida)

Identification: Small tiger beetle with white elytra, i.e. the maculations cover most of the field. A few brown markings extend out from the central suture. The head and thorax are hairy greenish to reddish-bronze. The legs and antennae are very pale tan. The underside has dense white hairs. Labrum has one tooth. Length: 8-12 mm.

Similar Species: No similar species in Wisconsin.
Habitat: Deep white or pale yellow sand with little or no vegetation where the beetle is nearly invisible. Inland dunes, large sandblows and sandpits.

Associated Species: C. formosa and C. scutellaris are also found in loose sand habitats.
State Distribution: Central Sands and large sand deposits along the Wisconsin River.

Global Distribution: East of the Rockies and Quebec, Ontario west to Saskatchewan.
Rationale for Species Listing and Threats: Disturbance of dune habitat.

Phenology: Adults may be present from late June to September, most commonly in July.

Life and Natural History: This species has a two-year lifecycle. Two broods of different years may be found in the same site. Eggs are laid in midsummer and the second instar larvae hibernate. The next year is spent as a larvae with overwintering in the third instar stage. The larva pupates the next June or July and emerges as an adult in midsummer. The adults live only about one month, mating in shallow burrows in the sand.

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