Cicindela ancocisconensis

Appalachian Tiger Beetle

Cicindela ancocisconensis, Appalachian Tiger Beetle, dorsal view

Family: Carabidae

Subfamily: Cicindelinae

Length: 14 - 16 mm


The scientific name of this species is a real mouthful, and it apparently derives from a place name in Maine, Ancocisco. The common name is a good one, since the species’ range map basically follows the Appalachians.

The elytral markings extend a ways along the edges of the elytra, but remain separate there rather than touching each other. The head has a blue-green sheen to it, while the pronotum shows some purple reflections. Viewed head-on at a close distance, it is apparent that the labrum is large and has three teeth.

Sandy riverbanks with sparse vegetations provide favored hunting grounds for the Appalachian Tiger Beetle. Egg-laying and larval burrows are often some distance from water, though.

The map below shows states and provinces with modern published records in blue-green. There are older records from Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, but none from the last century.

Photo data: 16 June 2006 (top photo) and 1 August 2006 (bottom two photos). Both from Cheat Bridge, Randolph County, West Virginia. Elevation 1087 meters.

Cicindela ancocisconensis, Appalachian Tiger Beetle, dorsolateral photo

Cicindela ancocisconensis, Appalachian Tiger Beetle, showing mandibles