Cicindela scutellaris

Festive Tiger Beetle

Cicindela scutellaris, Festive Tiger Beetle photo from New Mexico


Family: Carabidae

Subfamily: Cicindelinae

Length: 11 - 14 mm


Cicindela scutellaris features red elytra, green head and thorax, and an absence of markings. The forehead has sparse hairs; the underside of the beetle is a shining blue-green. The labrum is white in males and dark in females.

Shiny red elytra are present in most populations, but in some areas the color may vary to orange. In other areas, such as New Mexico's Mescalero Sands (where this photograph was made) the elytra color is an unshining maroon.

Mating takes place in the Spring. In most areas, the full life cycle takes two years to complete. The species is found in a variety of habitats, but ones where sand is almost invariably present.

Cicindela scutellaris is found in southern Ontario, and in the extreme south of Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Quebec. It ranges south to New Mexico, Texas, and Florida. It is absent from most of Pennsylvania, the southern Appalachians, and most of Alabama (Pearson et al. 2006; Acorn 2001).