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Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare vertebrate animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
For information on Wisconsin's rare invertebrates, contact:
Jay Watson
Conservation Biologist

Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle (Ellipsoptera macra)



Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle (Ellipsoptera macra ), a State Special Concern species, has been found on sandbars in larger rivers.

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 Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle (Ellipsoptera macra). 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 macra in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/N
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS1S2
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance

Identification: Dull olive-green to brown narrow-bodied tiger beetle. Head and pronotum with white, decumbent setae. The maculations are complete on the elytra though the middle band is broken up. Labrum with one tooth. Length: 11.5-13 mm.

Similar Species: None of the other sandbar inhabitants are similar. The western species, C. cuprascens, is very similar though shiny with the middle band unbroken and has yet to be found in Wisconsin.

Habitat: Sandy areas along rivers, big river sandbars.

Associated Species: May occur with C. repanda, C. hirticollis, and C. duodecimguttata.

State Distribution: A few sites in the Lower Wisconsin and Central Sands areas. Historically, St.Croix, Pierce, and Milwaukee Cos.

Global Distribution: Plains states and the Midwest to Ohio and Tennessee.

Rationale for Species Listing and Threats: Dam construction, recreational uses of river sandbars.

Phenology: Collected mid-July in central Wisconsin.

Life and Natural History: Females lay eggs in soft sand. Larvae develop to the second or third instar and overwinter. Larvae become active again in the spring and feed until hibernating as a late instar larva the second winter. Pupation occurs in June the next year.

Survey Guidelines: Blacklighting may be more successful than diurnal collecting.

Inventory, Monitoring and Research Needs: Survey historical sites.



Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle

Photo © Steve Spomer.

Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle. Only natural communities for which Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Natural community Score
Inland Beach 3
Warmwater rivers 3

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.

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Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

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Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

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Last revised: Thursday, October 08, 2020