Splendid tiger beetle, Cicindela splendida Hentz (Carabidae)

Splendid tiger beetle, Cicindela splendida Hentz. © 2011, A.V. Evans.

By Arthur V. Evans

The splendid tiger beetle, Cicindela splendida Hentz (12.0-15.0 mm) has a bright, shiny, green or blue body contrasting with coppery to brick-red elytra. Its pronotum is about one-third wider than long with wrinkles across surface. The elytra each with one or two spots or crescent-shaped spot on outer base, a short middle band, an apical bar, and sometimes a dot just before apex. The larva prefers to burrow in patchy, open, red clay soils along road cuts, banks, roads, and sparsely vegetated habitats. They take about 2-3 years to reach maturity. The diurnal adults are found along park trails and other open patches of soil in spring, then again in late summer and early fall. This species is widespread in Virginia and occurs from Pennsylvania to South Carolina, west to South Dakota and New Mexico.


Knisley, C.B., and T.D. Schultz. 1997. The Biology of Tiger Beetles and a Guide to the Species of the South Atlantic States. Special Publications Number 5. Virginia Museum of Natural History: Martinsville, VA. 210 pp.