Cicindela plutonica - Casey, 1897
Alpine Tiger Beetle
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cicindela plutonica Casey, 1897 (TSN 697724)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.111859
Element Code: IICOL023A0
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Beetles - Other Beetles
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Coleoptera Carabidae 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 plutonica
Taxonomic Comments: Bousquet (2012) does not recognize infraspecies for Cicindela plutonica. Therefore, no subspecies are currently recognized, but biological and habitat differences between sagebrush/desert populations and alpine ones suggest they may be rather distinctive (Pearson et al. 2006). So-called subspecies leachi is merely a color form that occurs in most or all of the range.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Oct2011
Global Status Last Changed: 01Sep1997
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This rank was originally recommended by David Brzoska in 1997 and seems consistent with Pearson et al. (2006) who consider the species "rare". It has a moderate, spotty distribution and the number of occurrences, but does not appear to be imperiled. The actual number or population structure of occrrences is very poorly known.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (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 California (SNR), Idaho (S2), Montana (SNR), Nevada (S3), Oregon (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: A narrow, rather inverted U-shaped band in the northern California-Nevada border region through southeastern Oregon across Idaho and down into Utah.

Area of Occupancy: 21-50,000 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Said to occur typically in isolated patches of a hectare or less (Pearson et al., 2006).

Number of Occurrences: 21 to >300

Population Size: Unknown

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some to many (13-125)

Overall Threat Impact: Unknown

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: As far as known.

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) A narrow, rather inverted U-shaped band in the northern California-Nevada border region through southeastern Oregon across Idaho and down into Utah.

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: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, ID, MT, NV, OR

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Cassia (16031)*, Elmore (16039), Lemhi (16059)*, Owyhee (16073)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Raft (17040210)+*, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Bruneau (17050102)+*, Lemhi (17060204)+*
+ 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
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Alpine, Desert, Playa/salt flat
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Primarily a species of high alpine areas over 9000 feet (2700 meters) but subspecies LEACHI in Nevada also occur at a much lower (4500 feet) a "semi-alkaline" site. Pearson et al. (1997) characterize the lowland site as desert and the precise checkoff(s) for it is/are not precisely clear.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: The life cycle requires several years so there are always larvae present in burrows in the soil.
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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Group Name: Cicindelidae: Western Taxa

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A place where a colony or cluster of colonies occurs or has occurred where there is potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a collection or photograph of an adult or positively identified larva in suitable habitat. High quality occurrences will generally be metapopulations consisting of multiple such colonies or will be large (certainly not less than 20 hectares) and otherwise defensible.
Mapping Guidance: Consult habitat comments fields and/or Freitag (1999) and Larochelle and Lariviere (2001) for general taxon-specific habitat information. In many cases edaphic features such as soil types can be used for occurrence boundaries. In general with well defined edaphic features such as limestone areas, alkali flats or seep, among others all colonies on that feature should be regarded as one metaopulation occurrence subject to the suitable habitat separation distances. In some cases it is reasonable to treat alkali associates as riparian taxa if their habitat are along a linear stream or dry wash.
For arid land taxa be careful interpreting negative searches in habitat patches within an apparently metpopulation occurrence or where the taxon otherwise should be present. As noted on page 21 of Knisely and Schultz (1997) C. PULCHRA, OBSOLETA, HORNI and probably others may be active mostly or entirely only during in the week or so after rains. Thus a negative search is very possible even where adults are abundant.

Separation Barriers: It is very like high mountains where daytime air temperatures remain below about 20 degree Celsius during the adult season are barriers except for C. PLUTONICA and the few other taxa that occur regularly in such places, and they may be treated as such.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 4 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: For taxa characteristic of specific and known edaphic conditions such as alkali flats, a mesa, limestone outcrops etc. all colonies in a given edaphic system should generally be considered one metapopulation occurrence. If the edaphic feature is well isolated the suitable habitat separation distance may be somewhat exceeded to keep the more distant colonies within the larger occurrence.
Separation Justification: While quantitative information on tiger beetle movements are few and mostly anecdotal, it is well known that these beetles are good colonizers that obviously do often fly a few kilometers (apparently sometimes at night). The best studied taxon is probably C. D.DORSALIS (see Leonard and Bell, 1999; Knisley and Schultz, 1997 or the original sources cited there in) and recaptures were made up to 15 miles (25 kilometers) from the original site. Given the difficulties inherent in getting long distance recaptures there can be no doubt that larger movements occur. While that species is not part of the present Specs Group, there is no real reason to assume its dispersal ability is greatly different from other taxa of the genus. C. OLIVACEA another shore species is thought by some to have recently colonized the Florida Keys from Cuba. C. TRIFASCIATA, SEVERA, TOGATA and HEAMORRHAGICA have also shown up a few hundred kilometers out of range (Knisley and Schultz, 1997; Pearson et al, 1997). Individuals of apparently more sedentary species do turn up a few hundred meters out of habitat--some examples known to Schweitzer include both C. MARGINATA (in an old field) and C. LEPIDA (at a forest/lawn interface) at blacklight in southern New Jersey. It is not rare to see C. SEXGUTTATA and C. PUNCTULATA individuals on driveways or sidewalks in towns.
These distances are arbitrary. Two kilometers should be sufficient to provide some degree of separation over unsuitable habitats (often based on different edaphic conditions) but in suitable habitat occurrences can extend at least patchily for several kilometers.
For species that occupy small patches of bare soil scattered in an open habitat matrix it does not make sense to regard individual patches as separate occurrences, so where feasible individual colonies should be clustered into metapopulation occurrences of higher defensibility.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Inferred extent is problematic and hard to predict and probably would vary by species or more so by habitat. At minimum the entire habitat patch where the observation was made up to half a kilometer, other patches a few kilometers away probably should not be without more field work or expert input although they are unlikely to be vacant if they are suitable.
Date: 06Dec2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Notes: Generally these Specs are meant for non-riparian taxa that occur in more or less open shrubland or grassland or desert regions where dispersal should be relatively easy and the more restricted taxa tend to be restricted by moisture or edaphic factors. They should not be used in forests.
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: 14Oct2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Schweitzer, D.F.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Oct2011
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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  • Bousquet, Y. 2012. Catalogue of Geadephaga (Coleoptera, Adephaga) of America, north of Mexico. ZooKeys 245:1-1722.

  • 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.

  • Freitag, R. P. 1999. Catalogue of the tiger beetles of Canada and the United States. National Research Council Research Press, Ottawa, Canada. 195 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. Virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publication Number 5. Virginia Museum of Natural History: Martinsville, Virginia. 210 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.

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