Cicindela hybrida Linnaeus, 1758
A widely distributed Palaearctic species occurring from France east to Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and north to southern Scandinavia. There are at least 15 subspecies including an amazing blue form, ssp. kozhantshikovi Lutschnik, 1924 from Russia and Kazakhstan. In some central European countries e.g. The Czech and Slovak Republics it is the most common Tiger Beetle. In the U.K. it occurs at coastal and near coastal sites in Lancashire and Cumbria; it was once considered conspecific with C. maritima, a closely similar species which is-relatively speaking-more widespread in the U.K, and older records from Wales, East Anglia and Southwest England may (and probably do) refer to that species. On the continent it also occurs inland e.g. it is widespread in central and southeastern France. English populations occur on sand dunes in open and sunny sites which warm quickly in the sun, generally on the coast and always away from water. Populations have been drastically reduced over recent decades due mostly to their habitats being used by people for recreational purposes. It is now classed as a vulnerable Biodiversity Action Plan species. All U.K. populations are now on Sites of Special Scientific Interest or National Nature Reserves. The species breeds in late spring and summer and overwinters as larvae which produce adults the following summer. These adults need to overwinter before breeding and so the life cycle takes two years. Adults are generally active from early in the day and may be seen basking in order to raise their body temperature before hunting. When the temperature increases to 35oC they ‘stilt’ to prevent further increase, and when the temperature increases further they dig shallow pits in the sand and bury themselves until the temperature decreases. The pattern of behaviour and duration of activity generally depends upon the availability of prey insects etc.
12-16mm. Similar in general appearance to maritima and formerly considered conspecific but now the identity is clear from the very different form of the genitalia; the penis is differently shaped and has several subapical teeth on the internal sac. External morphology is generally sufficient to separate them; although a little variable the median elytral transverse mark is distinctly angled
in maritima and the frons has a group of erect pale setae behind the eyes, in hybrida there are only 3 setae. Dorsal surface entirely dark metallic although under strong light this appears green. Lower surface dark green with long white pubescence. Labrum and base of mandibles pale. Base of labial palpi pale, palps otherwise dark metallic. Antennae and legs metallic. Head a little wider than the pronotum. Eyes massive and frons with longitudinal wrinkles. Pronotum transverse, with long setae laterally and metallic impressions behind the basal and apical margins. Scutellum large and brilliant metallic. Elytra characteristically marked, covered with small shiny granules.
Overall this species is broader and more robust looking than maritima, especially the pronotum; the elytra are more evenly curved laterally and the hind tibiae and tarsi appear shorter.