True to their name, tiger beetles are ambush predators that pounce on their insect in an aggressive, "tiger-like" manner. They seize their prey with long, sickle-like mandibles, and they are often the dominant invertebrate predators in their habitats. But tiger beetles are no match for bulldozers, and those habitats are easily destroyed by human activities. Two species of tiger beetle found in the northeastern United States, the northeastern beach tiger beetle (Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis) and the puritan tiger beetle (Cicindela puritan), have declined precipitously because of habitat loss and degradation. Tiger beetles were described by early naturalists as "very abundant on open, sandy beaches" and occurring in "great swarms" from Massachusetts to New Jersey and the Chesapeake Bay. Now the conservation status of these two species is so dire that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended that both species be uplisted from threatened to endangered.
The Center is working to protect these two tiger beetle species by requesting that the Service designate critical habitat for each, ensuring that the federal government does not take action or permit activities that destroy remaining tiger beetle habitat.
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1994 recovery plan for northeastern tiger beetle
1993 recovery plan for puritan tiger beetle
1990 federal Endangered species Act listing for both beetles
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROFILES
Northeastern beach tiger beetle
Puritan tiger beetle
Contact: Brett Hartl