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Sandy Stream Tiger Beetle (Ellipsoptera macra)



A Tiger Beetle ( Cicindela macra ), a State Special Concern beetle, 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.

Last revised: Thursday, January 10, 2019