Cicindela puritana - G. Horn, 1871
Puritan Tiger Beetle
Other English Common Names: puritan tiger beetle
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cicindela puritana G. Horn, 1871 (TSN 200993)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.115516
Element Code: IICOL02030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Beetles - Tiger Beetles
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Coleoptera Cicindelidae Cicindela
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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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 puritana
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 18Oct2011
Global Status Last Changed: 01Sep1997
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: The species has experienced a significant decline, well over 90% in New England, and it is Federally listed as threatened. There are 20 known recent "sites" but some of these probably function more or less as metapopulations, and smaller ones probably occasionally die out. There are not less than four, and almost certainly less than 20, occurences. These are threatened by increased human pressures, coupled with substantial naturally occurring population fluctuations. Highly imperiled in New England less so in Maryland. NatureServe's Rank Calculator has not been applied to this species.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1N2 (01Sep1997)

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 Connecticut (S1), Maryland (S1S2), Massachusetts (S1), New Hampshire (SH), Vermont (SH)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (07Aug1990)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R5 - Northeast
IUCN Red List Category: EN - Endangered

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: <100 square km (less than about 40 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Currently restricted apparently to a 26-mile stretch along the Chesapeake Bay and a 1.5 mile stretch of riverbank in Calvert County, Maryland, and to two short stretches of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Historically present along 125 miles of the Connecticut River but extirpated from most of it.

Area of Occupancy: 3-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Based on Pearson et al. (2006, p. 193) it seems very likely that the several small occurrences along the Sassafras River in Maryland are one metapopulation and nearly certain they should not be treated as nine separate occurences. The nine in Calvert County are possibly also essentially one occurrence. So depending on how occurrences are delineated, there are at least two and less than 18 occurrences in Maryland. Two others still exist on the connecticut River in New England. So four to 20 occurences. Adults are good dsipersers and undloubtedly move between sites in Maryland, but those in New England are probably too far apart for any interchange.

Population Size: 2500 - 10,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Basis for USFWS (1990) estimates is unclear. New England numbers probably a few hundred at most but apparently roughly 5000 adults in Maryland per summer in late 1980s.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats include cliff stabilization and resultant vegetative encroachment, excessive human disturbance. Possibly vulnerable to especially severe flood events on the Connecticut River, especially considering small population sizes there. Illegal collecting could perhaps harm small populations in New England but this is not a significant threat in Maryland.

Short-term Trend: Unknown

Long-term Trend: Decline of 70-90%
Long-term Trend Comments: Most Connecticut River populations were eliminated by dams, channelization, shoreline stalilization etc. Probably has decline about 99% there.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: The larvae are somewhat protected by living in cliffs in Maryland.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Small sections of the Cheaspeake Bay shoreline need to be se arched further.

Protection Needs: Protect all A- and B-ranked populations and any New England populations.

Distribution
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Global Range: (<100 square km (less than about 40 square miles)) Currently restricted apparently to a 26-mile stretch along the Chesapeake Bay and a 1.5 mile stretch of riverbank in Calvert County, Maryland, and to two short stretches of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Historically present along 125 miles of the Connecticut River but extirpated from most of it.

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.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CT, MA, MD, NH, VT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CT Hartford (09003), Middlesex (09007)
MA Hampden (25013)*, Hampshire (25015)
MD Calvert (24009), Cecil (24015), Kent (24029), St. Marys (24037)
VT Windsor (50027)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Black-Ottauquechee (01080106)+*, Middle Connecticut (01080201)+, Lower Connecticut (01080205)+
02 Chester-Sassafras (02060002)+, Severn (02060004)+, Patuxent (02060006)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Tiger beetle
Reproduction Comments: Adult Puritan tiger beetles emerge during mid to late June, the populations peak in late June to early July and begin to decline in late July. Larvae hatch in August as first instars. After 2-4 weeks, larvae molt into second instars, the state in which they overwinter. The following spring they molt into third instars and spend the next season in this stage. The following spring, they pupate and adults emerge 22 months after birth.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cliff, Sand/dune
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Adults and larvae have been found on the upper portions of sandy beaches near either fresh or salt water. Knisley (1987) determined the habitat for the larvae to be cliffs that were relatively extensive with little vegetation. All areas where this beetle has recently been found are characterized by the presence of "narrow sandy beaches with adjacent well-developed cliffs of sand and clay soil" (Knisley, 1987). All sites, historic and recent, are in close association with the Connecticut River or Chesapeake Bay.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: This tiger beetle was observed capturing small Diptera and amphipods and scavenging on dead crustaceans and fish (Knisley, 1987).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Adults emerge in mid-June and begin to decline in late July. This activity period is noticably shorter than that of other tiger beetles in the same area (Knisley, 1987). Since the species has a two or three year life cycle, larvae are present in their burrows at all times.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Raise and describe the larvae and their microhabitat in orde r to facilitate inventory and recovery efforts.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Cicindelidae: Riparian Taxa

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: An area of sand or other appropriate substrate, for high quality occurrences generally a cluster of several such areas, along a river or stream or occasionally ditch or some sort of embankment where a colony occurs with potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a collection or photograph of an adult associated with a habitat patch. Single isolated colonies should not be ranked higher than C and high quality occurrences will be clusters of several such colonies along a river or stream.
Mapping Guidance: Before trying to map an occurrence for any species consult the habitat comments field and relevant literature such as Freitag (1999), Knisley and Schultz (1997), Larochelle and Lariviere, 2001, and Leonard and Bell (1999) and if necessary the original references in them to determine the precise species-specific habitat parameters such as soil type, vegetation cover etc.
Separation Barriers: Possibly dams, rip-raps, groins etc. but for now it is suggested the disturbances they create be treated as unsuitable habitat unless direct observations show them to be barriers. Some adults should be able to move over or around them, especially during low water periods when unvegetated areas are exposed.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: It is obvious that long term viable occurrences of these taxa are generally metapopulations, although possible that some large single site occurrences are viable for the long term if the habitat is fairly stable. This would be virtually forced by the dynamic nature of the habitat. Local extirpations and colonizations are presumed to have been normal and persistence may be unlikely (or more often failed to occur) once population dynamics are disrupted. While it seems obvious that dispersal of adults several kilometers along a riparian corridor would have originally be common, there are no direct data on how far adults travel--in part because populations that have been well studied (e.g. along the Connecticut River) are already severely disrupted. However it is known that C. D. DORSALIS adults have a very open population structure and move more than 20 kilometers around the Chesapeake Bay and apparently at least two other shore species and two non-shore species, C. TOGATA and C. HEAMORRHAGICA,, are apparently much more dispersive (Pearson et al., 1997). It is assumed that riparian species must be comparably dispersive--and actually C. TOGATA is probably somewhat riparian.
As with most tiger beetles it makes no sense to treat every little colony as a separate occurrence, especially considering the dynamic nature of riparian habitats including the potential for floods to greatly alter and create habitat.. These should be clustered into more defensible metapopulations. Some local extirpation and colonization is probably normal. In most cases the suitable habitat distance should be applied along stream or river banks. However, impoundments behind substantial dams (not the typical little 18th century New England mill pond), extensive rip-raps, groins etc. are suggested as unsuitable habitat even for dispersal. Knisley and Schultz (1997) suggest they could even be barriers. The suitable habitat distance is arbitrary but is less than half the distance known to be traveled by adult C. DORSALIS which seems to be among the more sedentary of the littoral species (the most similar group with data) and seems reasonable for tiger beetles in general since they clearly colonize over at least a few kilometers rather easily.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Inferred extent is extremely problematic, and while this seems unrealistic there is usually no choice but to confine it to the immediate location pending further exploration. It does seem reasonable that if the observer notes very similar habitat within half a kilometer up or down stream that it be included. Occurrences of most or all taxa originally often, if not always, extended for many kilometers and adults are good fliers. Now however, much potential suitable habitat is really unsuitable due to factors such as flood control practices, ORV use, heavy trampling by people or livestock. There are also natural unknowns and mappers/observers may not really understand the exact habitat needs. So if the inferred extent would matter, the only reasonable course of action is to do field work to establish boundaries--ideally based on larvae as well as adults.
Date: 06Dec2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Notes: C. PURITANA is included with some reservation. These Specs should be workable (but the distances may be somewhat exceeded for practical reasons) on the Connecticut River, but probably not on its other occurrence on Chesapeake Bay.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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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: 18Oct2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Schweitzer, D.F.; Master, L.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 08Dec2000
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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  • BARTGIS, R.L. 1990. SITE SURVEY SUMMARY PACKAGES FOR CICINDELA DORSALIS DORSALIS AND CICINDELA PURITANA BASED ON BARRY KNISELY'S REPORTS.

  • Boyd, Howard P. 1975. The overlapping ranges of Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis and C. d. media, with notes on the Calvert Cliff area, Maryland. Cicindela 7(3): 45-59.

  • Dunn, G. 1981. The tiger beetles of New Hampshire. Cicindela 13(1/2):1-28.

  • 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. 1982. HANDWRITTEN NOTES RESPONDING TO QUESTIONS ON MARY BROSNAN'S TYPED LETTER TO GLASER OF 6TH OF JANUARY ABOUT CICINDELA LOCALITIES IN MD AND VA.

  • HILL, J.M. AND C.B. KNISELY. 1990. CURRENT STATUS SURVEY AND BIOLOGICAL STUDIES OF CICINDELA DORSALIS AND C. PURITANA IN MARYLAND, 1990. REVISED 19 FEBRUARY 1991. PREPARED FOR MD DNR AND USFWS, 69PP.

  • HILL, J.M. AND C.B. KNISLEY. 1993. A STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF A SHORELINE STABILIZATION REVETMENT ON AN ENDANGERED TIGER BEETLE, CICINDELA PURITANA. DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, RANDOLPH MACON COLLEGE, ASHLAND, VA 23005. 13 PP. PLUS 6 FIGS.

  • Jacobs, Judy. 1990. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; determination of threatened status for the puritan tiger beetle and the northeast tiger beetle. Federal Register. Vol 55, No. 152.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. 1987. STATUS SURVEY OF TWO CANDIDATE SPECIES OF TIGER BEETLES, CICINDELA PURITANA, G. HORN AND C. DORSALIS SAY. 47pp.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. 1988. SITES AND POPULATION SIZES OF TWO TIGER BEETLE SPECIES, CICINDELA PURITANA AND CICINDELA DORSALIS IN MARYLAND. MD DNR, MARYLAND NATURAL HERITAGE PROGRAM.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. 1995. STUDIES OF TWO THREATENED TIGER BEETLES, CICINDELA D. DORSALIS AND C. PURITANA, OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY REGION OF MARYLAND, 1995 -- FINAL REPORT.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. 1996. STUDIES OF RARE TIGER BEETLES (CICINDELA DORSALIS DORSALIS, C.D. MEDIA, AND C. PURITANA) IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY REGION OF MARYLAND, 1996. FINAL REPORT SUBMITTED TO DNR, HERITAGE & BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION PROGRAMS ON 15 JANUARY, 1997.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. AND J.M. HILL. 1989. IMPACT OF HUMAN ACTIVITY ON CICINDELA DORSALIS AND C. PURITANA: PART 1 SUBFINAL REPORT - THE EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT LEVELS OF VISITOR USE ON CICINDELA DORSALIS AT FLAG PONDS, CALVERT COUNTY, MARYLAND. 28 JUNE 1989.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. AND J.M. HILL. 1990. STUDIES OF TWO ENDANGERED TIGER BEETLES, CICINDELA DORSALIS DORSALIS AND CICINDELA PURITANA, IN MARYLAND, 1989. FINAL REPORT TO MARYLAND NATURAL HERITAGE PROGRAM, 8 FEBRUARY 1990.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. AND J.M. HILL. 1992. STATUS SURVEY OF CICINDELA PURITANA ALONG THE UPPER EASTERN SHORE OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY, MARYLAND. PROGRESS REPORT OF JOB #683, PROJECT #E-4-3 COVERING 1 JULY 1991 - 30 JUNE 1992.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. AND J.M. HILL. 1993. STUDIES OF CICINDELA DORSALIS DORSALIS AND CICINDELA PURITANA IN CALVERT, CECIL, AND KENT COUNTIES, MARYLAND - SITE SURVEYS AND BIOLOGICAL STUDIES, 1992. FINAL REPORT, REVISED 10 MAY 1993.

  • KNISLEY, C.B. AND J.M. HILL. 1993. STUDIES OF CICINDELA DORSALIS DORSALIS AND CICINDELA PURITANA IN MARYLAND: SITE SURVEYS IN CALVERT, KENT, AND CECIL COUNTIES AND BIOLOGICAL STUDIES IN 1993. FINAL REPORT, 7 FEBRUARY 1994.

  • KNISLEY, C.B., AND J.M. HILL. 1990. STUDIES OF TWO ENDANGERED TIGER BEETLES, CICINDELA DORSALIS DORSLIS AND CICINDELA PURITANA, IN MARYLAND, 1989. FINAL REPORT. 28 PP.

  • Knisley, Barry. Unpublished Status Survey of two candidate species of tiger beetles, CICINDELA PURITANA, and C. DORSALIS. Submitted to U.S.F.W.S. February 10, 1987.

  • 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.

  • LaRochelle, Andre, 1979. Cicindelidae from the USA in the Canadian national Collection. Cicindela 11(1):13-15.

  • LaRochelle, Andre, 1986. Cicindelidae from New England in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Cicindela 18(4): 59-63

  • 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.

  • Leng, C.W. 1902b. Revision of the Cicindelidae of boreal America. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 28:93-186.

  • MACIVOR, L.H. 1992. HABITAT PROTECTION OF CICINDELA PURITANA IN MD. PROGRESS REPORT FOR USFWS JOB #684 COVERING 1 JULY 1991 TO 30 JUNE 1992.

  • MACIVOR, L.H. 1995. HABITAT PROTECTION OF CICINDELA PURITANA IN MD. PROGRESS REPORT FOR USFWS JOB #684 COVERING 3 AUGUST 1993 TO 30 JUNE 1995.

  • MASON, C.E., AND H.P. BOYD. 1991. RESULTS OF TIGER BEETLE LARVAL HABITAT SURVEY AT GROVE POINT, WEST OF CECILTON, MARYLAND. 6 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. 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.

  • U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE. 1989. LISTING PROPOSALS: TWO TIGER BEETLES. ENDANGERED SPECIES TECH. BULL. 14(11-12):6-7.

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