Ellipsoptera lepida - (Dejean, 1831)
Ghost Tiger Beetle
Other English Common Names: Little White Tiger Beetle
Synonym(s): Cicindela lepida Dejean, 1831
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cicindela lepida Dejean, 1831 (TSN 697702)
French Common Names: cicindèle blanche
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.109488
Element Code: IICOL02250
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Beetles - Other Beetles
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Coleoptera Carabidae Ellipsoptera
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Freitag, R. P. 1999. Catalogue of the tiger beetles of Canada and the United States. National Research Council Research Press, Ottawa, Canada. 195 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B99FRE01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cicindela lepida
Taxonomic Comments: Bousquet (2012) transfers Cicindela lepida to Ellipsoptera lepida. Erwin and Pearson (2008) elevated subgenus Ellipsoptera to full genus status.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 11Oct2011
Global Status Last Changed: 10Nov2004
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This species has declined drastically eastward and is too rare over too much of its range to justify continuation of a straight G4 (apparently secure) rank it had in the 1990s and early 2000s. While it might be secure in Michigan and some western states, this needs to be documented, and it is also very possible that careful consideration using reasonable occurrence specifications would show fewer viable occurrences there than is usually assumed, or that it has seriously declined recently as it has in the East since the 1970s. This tiger beetle is considered imperiled in at least one core state--South Dakota. Several states in the core of the range have credible S3 ranks, but most such states have no rank for it. The S4 (apparently secure) rank for New Jersey probably is an accurate reflection of the apparent status there into the 1970s, but its status changed very rapidly and there may be as few as two to five occurrences. This species is now considered historic in Pennsylvania, and is listed as imperiled or critically imperiled (S2 or S1) in Connecticut (where it probably no longer occurs), Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and should be in New Jersey. It is either imperiled (one site) or extirpated in Quebec also. Current information is needed for New York. While this species is, at best, imperiled in the eastern parts of its range, but it may still be secure in some of its core western range, but it is uncommon and patchily distributed virtually range-wide. This species has not been evaluated with NatureServe's Rank Calculator but it seems obvious that it is neither common (G5) or imminently imperiled (G1,G2) globally; and there is substantial uncertainty about its actual status and trends westward.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4 (10Nov2004)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3N4 (27Jun2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNR), Arizona (S1), Arkansas (S2S3), Colorado (S3), Connecticut (S1), Delaware (S1), Illinois (S3), Indiana (S3), Iowa (S3), Kansas (S4), Kentucky (S1S2), Louisiana (SNR), Maryland (S1), Massachusetts (SX), Michigan (SH), Minnesota (S2), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (S3), Montana (S3S4), Navajo Nation (S4), Nebraska (S2), Nevada (SNR), New Jersey (S1S2), New Mexico (SNR), New York (S3), North Carolina (S1?), North Dakota (S3), Ohio (S3), Oklahoma (S4?), Pennsylvania (SH), South Dakota (S1), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (S4), Utah (SNR), Virginia (S1), Wisconsin (S1), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Alberta (S2S4), Manitoba (S2S4), Ontario (S2), Quebec (S2), Saskatchewan (SU)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Pearson et al. (2006) show this species as widespread in interior North America, from Michigan and Illinois west through the Plains region, from southern Canada into Texas and slighlty into Mexico, also west across New Mexico, northern Arizona, Utah, and into bit of northern Nevada, and west into Alberta in Canada, but only in easternmost parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, and not known from Idaho; also up the Ohio Valley into Ohio. East of Michigan and Ohio it occurs mostly in a narrow strip along the Great Lakes in Ohio and New York, a tiny bit of Ontario, and one site in Quebec (Leonard and Bell, 1999). It extends east and south along the Hudson-Mohawk corridor in New York into the Coastal plain, primarily in New Jersey, where it was widespread. Farther south on the coast, it is known from one locality in Delaware, Assateague Island in both Maryland and Virginia, and Nags Head, North Carolina. Leonard and Bell (1999) and Pearson et al. (2006) found no credible Massachusetts record, although it is widely claimed to have occurred at one site in Connecticut. It is naturally absent from the entire Appalachian region, and most of the Southeast but ranges from western Alabama through Mississippi into eastern Louisiana. The distribution is very spotty in most of this range.

Area of Occupancy: 101-50,000 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The usual for an open sand dwelling tiger beetles, that is off-road vehicles at any time of year, sand mining, development, succession, revegetation of open sands, etc. However, it should be noted that this species is somewhat adaptable and (for example formerly in New Jersey) and can readily exploit artificial habitats if they are within colonizing distance (at least several km) of occupied habitats. The decline of this species seems greater than can be explained by habitat changes alone in some regions such as New Jersey, where it was rather adaptable, but which is notably peripheral to the main range which is in the central and western US. Although the species occurs in some hotter regions much farther west, the possibility that recent climate change is impacting eastern populations should not be discounted.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: Declining eastward status farther west needs current assessment.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Pearson et al. (2006) show this species as widespread in interior North America, from Michigan and Illinois west through the Plains region, from southern Canada into Texas and slighlty into Mexico, also west across New Mexico, northern Arizona, Utah, and into bit of northern Nevada, and west into Alberta in Canada, but only in easternmost parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, and not known from Idaho; also up the Ohio Valley into Ohio. East of Michigan and Ohio it occurs mostly in a narrow strip along the Great Lakes in Ohio and New York, a tiny bit of Ontario, and one site in Quebec (Leonard and Bell, 1999). It extends east and south along the Hudson-Mohawk corridor in New York into the Coastal plain, primarily in New Jersey, where it was widespread. Farther south on the coast, it is known from one locality in Delaware, Assateague Island in both Maryland and Virginia, and Nags Head, North Carolina. Leonard and Bell (1999) and Pearson et al. (2006) found no credible Massachusetts record, although it is widely claimed to have occurred at one site in Connecticut. It is naturally absent from the entire Appalachian region, and most of the Southeast but ranges from western Alabama through Mississippi into eastern Louisiana. The distribution is very spotty in most of this range.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.

Map unavailable!:
Distribution data for U.S. states and Canadian provinces is known to be incomplete or has not been reviewed for this taxon.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MAextirpated, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WY
Canada AB, MB, ON, QC, SK

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Arkansas (05001)*, Chicot (05017)*, Desha (05041)*, Yell (05149)*
CO Bent (08011)*, Crowley (08025)*, Otero (08089)*, Prowers (08099)*
CT Hartford (09003)
DE Sussex (10005)
MD Worcester (24047)
MN Anoka (27003)*, Carver (27019)*, Hennepin (27053)*, Lac Qui Parle (27073)*, Morrison (27097), Polk (27119)*, Ramsey (27123)*, Scott (27139)*, Wabasha (27157)*
NC Dare (37055)
NE Blaine (31009), Dundy (31057), Keith (31101), Richardson (31147), Saunders (31155)
NJ Burlington (34005)
SD Perkins (46105)
UT Juab (49023)*
VA Accomack (51001)
WI Jackson (55053), Juneau (55057), Monroe (55081), Richland (55103), Sauk (55111), Shawano (55115), Washington (55131), Waushara (55137), Wood (55141)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Lower Connecticut (01080205)+
02 Mullica-Toms (02040301)+, Chincoteague (02040303)+
03 Albemarle (03010205)+
04 Wolf (04030202)+, Milwaukee (04040003)+
07 Elk-Nokasippi (07010104)+, Twin Cities (07010206)+*, Rum (07010207)+*, Upper Minnesota (07020001)+*, Lower Minnesota (07020012)+*, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+*, Zumbro (07040004)+*, La Crosse-Pine (07040006)+, Black (07040007)+, Castle Rock (07070003)+, Baraboo (07070004)+, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+, Crawfish (07090002)+
08 Lower Arkansas (08020401)+*, Lower Mississippi-Greenville (08030100)+*, Bayou Macon (08050002)+*
09 Red Lake (09020303)+*
10 Upper Moreau (10130305)+, Lower North Platte (10180014)+, Salt (10200203)+, Dismal (10210002)+, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Upper Republican (10250004)+
11 Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith (11020005)+*, Horse (11020008)+*, Upper Arkansas-John Martin (11020009)+*, Lake Conway-Point Remove (11110203)+*
16 Lower Sevier (16030005)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Sand/dune, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: This species is a specialist on open, deep, dry, sparsely vegetated sands, but over its vast range such habitats can occur in many contexts such as dunes, openings in various woodlands, old sand pits, sandy washes. In some parts of the range, notably New Jersey it often occurred in anthropogenic habitats. One current tiny population there now is on the slopes of a very (old 19th century?) sand pit now growing up to pines, but with patches kept open in recent decades by red foxes that den there.
Phenology Comments: Varies with local climate. A summer species.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A sand dune or occasionally (in New Jersey at least) an artificial equivalent where a colony occurs and where there is potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a specimen or photograph associated with such a habitat. Note that individuals in light traps may or may not be in association with habitat and some are not indicative of occurrences. High quality occurrences will be metapopulations distributed in large dune systems.
Mapping Guidance: The suitable habitat distance may be exceeded when considering multiple observations within a large relatively isolated aeolian dune complex.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: It would be acceptable to treat this as a beach and seashore species and apply those Specs when it occupies such habitats in New Jersey or perhaps in some Great Lakes areas
Separation Justification: A good colonizer up to several kilometers or more. Adults occasionally show up at lights several kilometers out of habitat and populations occur in completely artificial habitats only a few decades old and 20 to 50 kilometers from any natural dunes in southern New Jersey (D. Schweitzer personal observations; Boyd 1978). This and the vast, although spotty, distribution and lack of subspeciation in the species suggest a good disperser. However since habitats are sometimes small and isolated it seems that a rather small distance could separate occurrences in such contexts. Use the suitable habitat distance with either good or marginal habitats such as within coastal dune systems or aeolian dune fields.
Date: 06Dec2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 28Oct2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Schweitzer, D.F.,
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 10Feb2012
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Schweitzer, D.F

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • BOYD, H. 1978. THE TIGER BEETLES (COLEOPTERA: CICINDELIDAE) OF NEW JERSEY WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THEIR ECOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS. TRANS. AMER. ENT. SOC. 104:191-242.

  • Bousquet, Y. 2012. Catalogue of Geadephaga (Coleoptera, Adephaga) of America, north of Mexico. ZooKeys 245:1-1722.

  • Bousquet, Y., P. Bouchard, A.E. Davies & D.S. Sikes. 2013. Checklist of Beetles (Coleoptera) of Canada and Alaska, 2nd Edition. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.

  • Bousquet, Y., P. Bouchard, A.E. Davies, and D.S. Sikes. 2013. Checklist of beetles (Coleoptera) of Canada and Alaska, second edition. Pensoft Series Faunistica No 109.

  • Brust, M.L., W.W. Hoback, S.M. Spomer, W.J. Allgeier, and P.D. Nabity. 2005. New county records for Nebraska tiger beetles. Cicindela 37(3-4):37-58.

  • Brzoska, Dr. David W. 1998. Locality Information for G1-G3 Tiger Beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) - Collected by D.W. Brzoska. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy. 3 pp. plus memorandum from Lara Minium.

  • Dawson, R. W., and W. Horn. 1928. The tiger beetles of Minnesota. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 56. 13 pp.

  • Erwin, T. L. and D. L. Pearson. 2008. A Treatise on the Carboidea (Coleoptera): Their Classification, Distributions, and Ways of Lif, Vol. II. Pensoft, Moscow.

  • Erwin, T. L. and D. L. Pearson. 2008. A treatise on the Western Hemisphere Caraboidea (Coleoptera), their classification, distributions, and ways of life. Volume II (Carabidae:Nebriiformes 2: Cicindelitae). Pensoft Series Faunistica 84, Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow. 365 pp.

  • Freitag, R. P. 1999. Catalogue of the tiger beetles of Canada and the United States. National Research Council Research Press, Ottawa, Canada. 195 pages.

  • Freitag, R. P. 1999. Catalogue of the tiger beetles of Canada and the United States. National Research Council Research Press, Ottawa, Canada. 195 pp.

  • GLASER, J.D. 1984. THE CICINDELIDAE (COLEOPTERA) OF MARYLAND. MARYLAND ENTOMOLOGIST 2(4):65-76.

  • General Status 2015, Environment Canada. 2014. Manitoba beetle species list and subnational ranks proposed by experts.

  • Glaser, J.D. 1999. Package of misc notes and maps, including specimen data and other info.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. AND J.M. HILL. 1990. DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF TWO TIGER BEETLES, CICINDELA DORSALIS MEDIA AND C. LEPIDA, AT ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, MARYLAND, 1990.

  • Kippenhan, Michael G. 1994. The Tiger Beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) of Colorado. 1994. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 120(1):1-86.

  • Knisley, C. B. and J. M. Hill. 1993. [Report on 1991 and 1992 survey work for Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle (Cicindela limbata albissima). Prepared for BLM Utah State Office? 38 pp. + appendix + figures.

  • Knisley, C.B. 1979. DIstribution, abundance, and seasonality of tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) in the Indiana Dunes region. Proc. Ind. Acad. Sci. vol?:209-217.

  • Knisley, C.B. 1998. Written comments on draft of McCann's Cicindelid inventory, research & monitoring priorities for next 3-5 yrs.

  • Knisley, C.B. and J.M. Hill. 1992. Effects of habitat change from ecological succession and human impact on tiger beetles. VA Jour. Sci. 43(1B):133-142.

  • Knisley, C.B. and T.D. Schultz. 1997. The Biology of Tiger Beetles and a Guide to the Species of the South Atlantic States. Virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publication Number 5. Virginia Museum of Natural History: Martinsville, Virginia. 210 pp.

  • Knisley, C.B. and T.D. Schultz. 1997. The biology of tiger beetles and a guide to the species of the South Atlantic states. VA Museum of Nat. Hist. Special Pub. No. 5.

  • Kritsky, G., and J. Smith. 2005. Teddy's tigers: the Cicindelidae (Coleoptera) of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota. Cicindela 37(1-2):1-16.

  • Larochelle, A. 1974. Notes on Cicindela lepida Dejean. Cicindela 6(3):66-68.

  • Larochelle, A. 1986. A concise bibliography on the geographical distribution of the Cicindelidae of North America north of Mexico. Cicindela 18(2):17-32.

  • Leng, C. W. and W. Beutenmuller. 1894. Preliminary handbook of the Coleoptera of northeastern America. Cicindelidae. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 2:87-96.

  • Leonard, M. D. ed. 1928. A list of the insects of New York, with a list of the spiders and certain other allied groups. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station Mem. 101. Ithaca, New York. 1121 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, New York. 227 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.

  • Pearson, D.L. 2004. A list of suggested common English names for species of tiger beetles occurring in Canada and the U.S. Cicindela 36(1-2):31-40.

  • Pearson, D.L. 2004. A list of suggested common English names for species of tiger beetles occurring in Canada and the U.S. Cicindela 36(1-2):31-40.

  • Pearson, D.L., T. G. Barraclough, and A.P. Vogler. 1997. Distributional range maps for North American species of tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). Cicindela, 29(3-4): 33-84. Available online: http://www.bio.ic.ac.uk/research/tigerb/rangepaper.htm.

  • Pearson, D.L., T.G. Barraclough and A.P. Vogler. 1997. Distributional maps for North American species of tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). Cicindela 29(3-4):33-84.

  • Stanton, Edward J., and F.E. Kurczewski. 1999. Notes on the distribution of Cicindela lepida dejean (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) in New York, Ontario and Quebec. The Coleopterists Bulletin 53(3):275-279.

  • 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.

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