Planet’s Coolest Critters – Tiger Beetles

Cicindela scutellaris rugifrons – photo by Harry Zirlin.

Readers of this blog know well (and hopefully share) my affection for tiger beetles (family Cicindelidae). That should come as no surprise, as tiger beetles rank among the most popular of all beetle groups. The reasons for this are many—for me it is their extreme polytopism (geographically based variation in coloration and markings), affinity for extreme habitats, and charismatic behavior (both adults and larvae), while for others it may be from a more basic research perspective (e.g., thermoregulatory behaviors, molecular phylogeny, and visual physiology) or as models for conservation research. I think most, however, will simply declare that tiger beetles are just… well, cool! That is the perspective of Harry Zirlin, who wrote this charming little article entitled, Planet’s Coolest Critters – Tiger Beetles at PetsLady. After introducing the group and its diversity, lifestyles, and behaviors, Harry notes the increasing popularity of tiger beetles with birders, butterfly watchers and nature photography buffs and the recent proliferation of field guides that have enabled their elevation to the ranks of “watchable wildlife.” Maintaining tiger beetles in terraria allows an even closer look at their beauty and behaviors, and Harry gives some useful tips on how best to accomplish this. It’s a pleasant little read, and I recommend you check it out!

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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4 Responses to Planet’s Coolest Critters – Tiger Beetles

  1. Brady Richards says:

    I think your link goes to the main page rather than the tiger beetle article.
    http://petslady.com/articles/planets_coolest_critters_tiger_beetles_57451

    I’ll have to set up a terrarium for tigers one of these days. Sounds cool.

    • Link should be fixed now.

      I’ve kept lots of tigers in terraria – currently I have ten Tetracha floridana adults (plus larvae of several species that I’m rearing to adulthood). Feeding time is lots of fun!

  2. spain5054 says:

    Tiger Beetles! Thanks for this, Ted.

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