Tiger Beetles are a fairly distinctive beetle group of attacking ground predators. I find them often when looking for small robber flies. Especially common on sandy habitat with Stichopogon robbers. The tigers and robbers seem to be tolerant of each other. I've never seen one eating or attacking the other so far. This is a spring Six-spotted Tiger on my home creek.

This tiger above is Cicindela repanda, the Common Shore Tiger. (For a fine Tiger experience try this Nebraska website.)

The larvae of the tiger are burrow dwellers. This is the Tetracha virginica larva with jaws wide for grabbing. I am sure ants suffer from the presence. The burrows are generally small and less than 6 or 7mm across. This species is the exception at 8mm or more. The adults of this particular species are mostly nocturnal and come to porch lights.

 

Species often can be determined by the pattern and extent of their dorsal markings. This is a breeding pair of C. cuprascens, the Coppery Tiger Beetle. Note the similar pattern to C. repanda. They are both found on sandy river shorelines. These were at Holla Bend. Tigers come in an impressive array of colors including quite a few iridescent species. Some species colors vary by soil and geography and the markings on a specific local population can vary significantly as well. The Nebraska site lists thirty species for that state. Arkansas has twenty species (one not yet documented but so close to the borders I can't stand it). There are about 107 species in the US and Canada. The Arkansas list with linked images (many to the North Dakota scans at site above) is here.

The pair from Holla Bend also from Edward's lens. Also cuprascens but note how much greener.

This is Cincindela macra, the Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle. Supposedly very similar to cuprascens but apparently greener and smoother pitting on the elytra. Norm says they were easily distinguished in life, smaller and they vanished against the sand whereas the Coppery were gleaming and easy to see.

Norm states this is C. hirticollis shelfordi, the Hairy Necked Tiger BeetleAlso similar to C. repanda with a hooked up humeral band (seen here, compare with above repanda). Also somewhat larger than repanda.

I believe this is C. rufiventris (see side shot far below). It is one of the blue or green species and these are often lacking in other markings until viewed closely. This species usually has a group of six spots around the back edges. C. punctulata will occur anywhere. C. sexguttata prefers the woods. Just below is a more typically marked local C. sexguttata from Bell Slough.

This lovely Tiger is Cicindela obsoleta vulturina in a shot from Calico Rock by Steve Spomer, one of the Nebraska Tiger site guys. This may be the only place it occurs in Arkansas in a population that may be isolated and restricted to north Arkansas and southern Missouri. It lives among the rocky glades there in Calico Rock. It is much blacker and more marked than the normal C. obsoleta and may be a separate subspecies distinct even from vulturina.

Also from Calico Rock. Same species. Norm's comment was that they were enormous and dark and fly with a loud buzz. He was impressed with them.

This spring tiger is apparently Cicindela splendida, though it has very poorly developed white markings on that red back. You can see one white slash above that third knee. See the Nebraska image of C. splendida for a more normal form. These guys often pop out very early in the spring or even in late winter. This group was located on 2 March 2004 on a warm day of about 65 degrees.

Tiger beetle action. Ahem. Same species as above. I am assuming the larger female is on the ground. She was in charge of where they looked and where they went. (Top to bottom the world is the same.) I love those bone white graspers that the male is holding her with.

Fairly common Tiger in an uncommonly nice shot. Cicindela punctulata, otherwise known as the Sidewalk Tiger Beetle, shows the puncta which have a gilded appearance. A Bob Barber shot.

Aptly named, odd little Tiger called the Ant-like Tiger Beetle, C. cursitans. Very small for a tiger. Fast runners. In fact, they are flightless with sealed elytra. Very uncommon outside of this group in NE Arkansas.

The fall Tiger, a true Cincindella rufiventris, exposing his rufus ventris so to speak. The orange abdominal color is not always visible.

The Big Sand Tiger, Cicindella formosa, from Toadsuck's sand shore again. Much less common than the repanda and tends to stay up on the higher and drier sands. About 30 percent larger than the average repanda.

Cicindella duodecimguttata, a more northerly distributed Tiger in Arkansas and likely only in the Ozark counties. Bob shot this one in late summer. Could be mistaken for a C. repanda and this one occurred with repanda, making for some work on Bob's part. Likely much less common than repanda, but what isn't. Another from Sharp county below which was also hanging out with C. repanda.

Cicindella scutellaris unicolor, from Florida. Was ranging the powdery sand near an inland pond hunting ants. There were some green and some blue-green and some with purpled overtones. Very nice creatures indeed. The scutellaris lecontei subspecies in Arkansas has significant white borderings.

Interesting food choice, no? Definitely. And I believe this is another of our own local subspecies of C. scutellaris scutellaris. Also known as the Festive Tiger Beetle. Significantly more colorful. This female did not take the cricket on her own. She actually stole it from a passing cricket-hunting wasp (a Tachytes) that was barely big enough to carry the cricket. There were several wasps in this sandy area. The Tigers were linked up in mating and this female grabbed the cricket while still in coitus and then she shook the male off. (Oh, the pain, the pain.)

And a pair of the fine and mostly nocturnal Tetracha carolina. From the Forest park area where Norm says they swarm in the evenings. Note the pale legs and mouthparts. And large Tigers generally speaking.