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Ghost Tiger Beetle (Ellipsoptera lepida)


Overview

Overview

Little White Tiger Beetle ( Cicindela lepida ), a State Special Concern beetle, has been found in sandy areas, blowouts and dunes. Also reported from beaches and streamsides. Adults are best surveyed for in July, but can be found from late June through September.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Ghost Tiger Beetle (Ellipsoptera lepida). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.


Documented locations of Ellipsoptera lepida in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/N
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS1
Global RankG3G4
Tracked by NHIY
WWAP SGCN

Species guidance


Identification: Small tiger beetle with white elytra, i.e. the maculations cover most of the field. A few brown markings extend out from the central suture. The head and thorax are hairy greenish to reddish-bronze. The legs and antennae are very pale tan. The underside has dense white hairs. Labrum has one tooth. Length: 8-12 mm.

Similar Species: No similar species in Wisconsin.

Habitat: Deep white or pale yellow sand with little or no vegetation where the beetle is nearly invisible. Inland dunes, large sandblows and sandpits.

Associated Species: C. formosa and C. scutellaris are also found in loose sand habitats.

State Distribution: Central Sands and large sand deposits along the Wisconsin River.

Global Distribution: East of the Rockies and Quebec, Ontario west to Saskatchewan.

Rationale for Species Listing and Threats: Disturbance of dune habitat.

Phenology: Adults may be present from late June to September, most commonly in July.

Life and Natural History: This species has a two-year lifecycle. Two broods of different years may be found in the same site. Eggs are laid in midsummer and the second instar larvae hibernate. The next year is spent as a larvae with overwintering in the third instar stage. The larva pupates the next June or July and emerges as an adult in midsummer. The adults live only about one month, mating in shallow burrows in the sand.

Survey Guidelines: Look for the shadow of the beetle when late afternoon sun hits the white sand. Also attracted to lights at night.

Photos/Video

Photos


Ghost Tiger Beetle

Natural Pose from Above.

Photo by  staff, WDNR.

Ghost Tiger Beetle

Natural Pose from Above.

Photo by  staff, WDNR.

Ghost Tiger Beetle

Natural Pose from Above.

Photo by  staff, WDNR.

Ghost Tiger Beetle

Habitat photo.

Photo by Kathryn Kirk, WDNR.

Ghost Tiger Beetle

Photo by Kathryn Kirk, WDNR.


Last revised: Thursday, May 04, 2017