Thursday, March 05, 2009

Tiger Beetles of Berrien County, Michigan, and Vicinity

The tiger beetles, traditionally placed in the family Cicindellidae (Order Coleoptera), are now considered by some authorities (including the IT IS) to be a subfamily (Cicindelinae) of the Carabidae. I here follow the traditional classification espoused by Pearson et al. (2005). The tiger beetles are moderately large, brightly colored ground beetles that inhabit fairly open habitats. They are aggressive and voracious predators, both as larvae and as adults. As puruit predators, tiger beetles are incredibly fast; relative to size, the average tiger beetle is 10 times faster than our fastest human sprinter.

A list of the tiger beetles of Berrien County and vicinity (including the surrounding counties of Cass and Van Buren in Michigan and La Porte and St. Joseph in Indiana) was compiled using Pearson et al.’s Distributional range maps. The resultant list includes 13 species in 1 genus.

The tiger beetle fauna of Berrien County and vicinity represents all but 1 of the 14 species known from Michigan, just over half of the approximately two dozen species known from the western Great Lakes, 12 percent of the 108 species known from the U.S. and Canada, and 0.6 percent of the 2,100 species known worldwide.

In the following list, scientific and common names follow Pearson et al.’s (2005) A field guide to the tiger beetles. Counties with confirmed records for each species, as verified using Tiger beetles of the United States, are identified in brackets.
  • Cicindela duodecimguttata, Twelve-spotted Tiger Beetle [Berrien, LaPorte]
  • Cicindela formosa, Big Sand Tiger Beetle [LaPorte, Van Buren]
  • Cicindela hirticollis, Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle [Berrien, LaPorte]
  • Cicindela lepida, Ghost Tiger Beetle [Berrien, St. Joseph, Van Buren]
  • Cicindela limbalis, Common Claybank Tiger Beetle
  • Cicindela macra, Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle [Berrien, LaPorte]
  • Cicindela patruela, Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle [Berrien]
  • Cicindela punctulata, Punctured Tiger Beetle [Berrien, LaPorte, Van Buren]
  • Cicindela purpurea, Cow Path Tiger Beetle
  • Cicindela repanda, Bronzed Tiger Beetle [Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Van Buren]
  • Cicindela scutellaris, Festive Tiger Beetle [Berrien, LaPorte, Van Buren]
  • Cicindela sexguttata, Six-spotted Tiger Beetle [Berrien, LaPorte, Van Buren]
  • Cicindela tranquebarica, Oblique-lined Tiger Beetle [Berrien]
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