Tiger Beetles of Nebraska Species List


Nebraska, because of its great diversity of habitats, is well represented in cicindelids. Carter (1989) lists 29 species as occurring in the state. By comparison, neighboring states usually have fewer species: Iowa has 18 (Eckhoff 1939), Kansas has 29 (Willis 1970), Oklahoma has 27 (Drew & Van Cleave 1961), South Dakota has 24 (Kirk & Balsbaugh 1975, Backlund et al. 2005), North Dakota has 26 (Larson 1981), and Colorado has 32 (Kippenhan 1994). In addition to the 29 species reported by Carter, three more species have been reported in the literature but are considered dubious: C. rufiventris (reported in Eckhoff 1939), C. patruela (reported in Eckhoff 1939- probably a misidentified C. denverensis?), and C. lemniscata. Also, the two specimens of C. longilabris in the University of Nebraska State Museum are questionable, as this is a spring-fall species, and both specimens were collected in July and none have been collected since 1927. Likewise, M. carolina was reported by Bruner (1901) but has not been seen since.

The following list contains 32 species, including the previously unreported M. carolina. The C. terricola/cinctipennis complex is reported as one species, but may in fact, be two. Common names follow Pearson et al. (2006). Each species includes (1) a general description, (2) similar species, where applicable, (3) U. S. range, (4) a map showing Nebraska distribution by county, blue indicates no county record, pink indicates county record (5) habitat association, (6) seasonal occurrence, and (7) rarity status, based on collecting records and personal experience.


  • Backlund, D., N. Backlund, S. Weins, and G. Marrone. 2005. Tiger beetles of South Dakota (website). Http://pie.midco.net/tigerbeetle/TigerBeetle Version 12/28/2005.
  • Bruner, L. 1901. The tiger beetles of Nebraska. Proc. Nebr. Acad. Sci. 7: 97-99.
  • Carter, M. A. 1989. The biology and ecology of the tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) of Nebraska. Trans. Nebr. Acad. Sci. 17: 1-18.
  • Drew, W. A. and H. W. Van Cleave. 1961. The tiger beetles of Oklahoma (Cicindelidae). Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 1961: 101-122.
  • Eckhoff, D. E. 1939. The Cicindelidae of Iowa (Coleoptera). Iowa State College J. Sci. 13(2): 201-230.
  • Kippenhan, M. G. 1994. The tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) of Colorado. Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 120: 1-86.
  • Kirk, V. M. and E. U. Balsbaugh, Jr. 1975. A list of the beetles of South Dakota. Agric. Expt. Sta. Bull. 42: 1-139.
  • Larson, P. R. 1981. The tiger beetles of North Dakota (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). Proc. No. Dak. Acad. Sci. 35: 52.
  • Pearson, D. L., T. G. Barraclough, and A. P. Vogler. 1997. Distributional maps for North American species of tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). Cicindela 29(3-4): 33-84.
  • Pearson, D. L., C. B. Knisley, and C. J. Kazilek. 2006. A field guide to the tiger beetles of the United States: identification, natural history, and distribution of the Cicindelidae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. 227 pp.
  • Willis, H. L. 1970. The Cicindelidae of Kansas. Cicindela 2(1): 1-27.

If you have new county records, or have additional information you'd like to share, contact us by email! sspomer1@unl.edu

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