Cicindela limbata nympha Casey, 1913
Sandy Tiger Beetle
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Basis for Listing
The sandy tiger beetle was first located in Minnesota in 1967 in Polk County, and a few additional specimens were collected at the same site up until 1970. No other localities of this species are known in Minnesota. The single known location was revisited in 2000 and 2004, but no individuals were seen. The area was formerly private pastureland with steep, open sand dunes. It is now owned by the City of Fertile and is open to public recreation. The original dunes show evidence of extensive off-road vehicle use, which can destroy larval burrows. Two larger, formerly abundant tiger beetle species still persist at this site in small numbers, but the sandy tiger beetle may no longer occur here, and may be extirpated from Minnesota. The sandy tiger beetle was listed as an endangered species in Minnesota in 1996.
Adult sandy tiger beetles are small, averaging 10-11 mm (0.39-0.43 in.) long. They are mostly white, but have a dark red-brown head and thorax, and a brown stripe along the wing-cover suture. They also have an oblique, slightly elongated brown spot on the posterior third of each wing-cover. Their legs are metallic wine or metallic green in color.
The sandy tiger beetle has been found on steep, open, blowing sand dunes.
Biology / Life History
Adult sandy tiger beetles emerge in the fall (as early as mid-August), begin hunting until colder weather, and then burrow underground for the winter. They re-emerge in early spring (mid-April), begin mating and laying eggs, and slowly die-off as the summer progresses.
Conservation / Management
The sandy tiger beetle is a habitat specialist that requires protection of dune areas. Management plans prepared for occupied sites should provide for the habitat needs of this species. Off-road vehicle use should be restricted on sites where this species has been documented.
Conservation Efforts in Minnesota
Further survey of the only known location of the sandy tiger beetle in northwest Minnesota is needed to see if this subspecies still survives in the state.
References and Additional Information
Dawson, R. W., and W. Horn. 1928. The tiger beetles of Minnesota. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 56. 13 pp.
Pearson, D. L., C. B. Knisley, and C. J. Kazilek. 2006. A field guide to the tiger beetles of the United States and Canada: identification, natural history, and distribution of the Cicindelidae. Oxford University Press, New York. 227 pp. + plates.
Steffens, W. P. 2005. Rare tiger beetle surveys in central and northwest Minnesota, Fall 2004. Report submitted to the County Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 11 pp.