Ecology

Associations

Known predators

Cicindelidae (spiders, wasps, tiger beetles, carpenter ants) is prey of:
Phasianidae
Timaliidae
Serpentes
Varanidae
Canis aureus
Erinaceus europaeus
bultul
Laniidae
Saxicoloides fulicata
Vulpes vulpes

Based on studies in:
India, Rajasthan Desert (Desert or dune)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • I. K. Sharma, A study of ecosystems of the Indian desert, Trans. Indian Soc. Desert Technol. and Univ. Center Desert Stud. 5(2):51-55, from p. 52 and A study of agro-ecosystems in the Indian desert, ibid. 5:77-82, from p. 79 1980).
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Known prey organisms

Cicindelidae (spiders, wasps, tiger beetles, carpenter ants) preys on:
Isoptera
Coleoptera
Hymenoptera
Auchenorrhyncha

Based on studies in:
India, Rajasthan Desert (Desert or dune)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • I. K. Sharma, A study of ecosystems of the Indian desert, Trans. Indian Soc. Desert Technol. and Univ. Center Desert Stud. 5(2):51-55, from p. 52 and A study of agro-ecosystems in the Indian desert, ibid. 5:77-82, from p. 79 1980).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:2,130Public Records:562
Specimens with Sequences:1,355Public Species:201
Specimens with Barcodes:745Public BINs:47
Species:451         
Species With Barcodes:119         
          
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Barcode data

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Cicindelinae

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Wikipedia

Tiger beetle

Tiger beetles are a large group of beetles known for their aggressive predatory habits and running speed. The fastest species of tiger beetle can run at a speed of 9 km/h (5.6 mph), which, relative to its body length, is about 22 times the speed of former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson,[1] the equivalent of a human running at 480 miles per hour (770 km/h). As of 2005, about 2,600 species and subspecies were known, with the richest diversity in the Oriental (Indo-Malayan) region, followed by the Neotropics.[2]

Cicindela aurofasciata from India, showing the large eyes and mandibles

Description[edit]

Tiger beetles often have large bulging eyes, long, slender legs and large curved mandibles. All are predatory, both as adults and as larvae. The genus Cicindela has a cosmopolitan distribution. Other well-known genera include Tetracha, Omus, Amblycheila and Manticora. While members of the genus Cicindela are usually diurnal and may be out on the hottest days, Tetracha, Omus, Amblycheila and Manticora are all nocturnal. Both Cicindela and Tetracha are often brightly colored, while the other genera mentioned are usually uniform black in color.

Tiger beetles in the genus Manticora are the largest in size of the subfamily. These live primarily in the dry regions of southern Africa.

The larvae of tiger beetles live in cylindrical burrows as much as a meter deep. They are large-headed, hump-backed grubs that flip backwards to capture prey insects that wander over the ground. The fast-moving adults run down their prey and are extremely fast on the wing, their reaction times being of the same order as that of common houseflies. Some tiger beetles in the tropics are arboreal, but most run on the surface of the ground. They live along sea and lake shores, on sand dunes, around playa lakebeds and on clay banks or woodland paths, being particularly fond of sandy surfaces.[3]

Tiger beetles are considered a good indicator species and have been used in ecological studies on biodiversity. Several species of wingless parasitic wasps in the genus Methocha (family Tiphiidae), lay their eggs on larvae of various Cicindela spp., such as Cicindela dorsalis.[4]

Adaptations[edit]

Tiger beetles are so fast that they go blind while running, partly because their eyes are not able to gather enough photons to form an image during high speed and partly because the visual information is coming in faster than their brain can process, which is the reason for their stop and start movements, as they need to stop now and then for a few milliseconds to relocate their prey and surroundings.[1] To avoid obstacles while running they hold their antennae rigidly and directly in front of them to mechanically sense their environment.[5]

Systematics[edit]

Museum specimen of Manticora sp. from Mozambique.

Tiger beetles were traditionally classified as the family Cicindelidae but most authorities now treat them as the subfamily Cicindelinae of the Carabidae (ground beetles). The most recent classifications, however, have relegated them to a monophyletic subgroup within the subfamily Carabinae, though this is not yet universally accepted. Accordingly, there is no consensus classification for this group, at any level from family down to subspecies, and it can be exceedingly difficult to decipher the taxonomic literature surrounding this group.

Very many were described by the German entomologist Walther Horn. The genera of tiger beetles include:[6]

Many of the genera result from the splitting of the large genus Cicindela.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cornell News, Jan. 16, 1998 When tiger beetles chase prey at high speeds they go blind temporarily, Cornell entomologists learn
  2. ^ Pearson, D.L. & F. Cassola, 2005
  3. ^ Werner, K. 2000
  4. ^ Burdick, D.J. and Wasbauer, M.S. 1959. Biology of Methocha californica Westwood (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae). Wasmann Jour. Biol. 17:75-88. Department of Environmental Conservation
  5. ^ Blinded by speed, tiger beetles use antennae to 'see' while running
  6. ^ "Cicindelinae Latreille, 1802". Carabidae of the World. 2011. Retrieved 28 Jun 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Further new country records of African Tiger Beetles with some taxonomical note (Coleoptera, Cicindelidae) by Peter Schüle. Entomologia Africana 15(2)2010.
  • The Tiger beetles of Africa by Karl Werner, Taita Publishers 2000.
  • A Quantitative Analysis of Species Descriptions of Tiger Beetles (Coleoptera Cicindelidae), from 1758 to 2004, and Notes about Related Developments in Biodiversity Studies by D.L. Pearson and F. Cassola. The Coleopterists Bulletin Vol 59, n°2, June 2005.
  • Tiger Beetles of Alberta: Killers on the Clay, Stalkers on the Sand by John Acorn. University of Alberta Press, 2001.
  • Tiger Beetles: The Evolution, Ecology, and Diversity of the Cicindelids by David L. Pearson and Alfried P. Vogler. Cornell University Press, 2001.
  • A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada by David L. Pearson, C. Barry Knisley and Charles J. Kazilek. Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • The Beetles of the World, volumes 13 [1], 15 [2], 18 [3] & 20 [4] by Karl Werner, Sciences Nat, Venette, 1991, 1992, 1993 & 1995.
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