Cicindela maritima Latreille & Dejean, 1822 

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Genus:

ADEPHAGA Clairville, 1806

CARABIDAE Latreille, 1802

CICINDELINAE Latreille, 1802

Cicindela Linnaeus, 1758

Although still widespread around the north European coasts, The Dune Tiger Beetle has for the past few decades been in serious decline due to the exploitation of beech and dune areas. It is now classed as extremely endangered throughout its range; in Germany a steady decline over the past 50 years has demonstrated only a very limited success of past conservation efforts and it was only the establishment of a North Sea Coastal National Park that saved the species from extinction in that country. Records exist for much of the Baltic coast and southern Scandinavia while in Russia and Ukraine it also exists inland and is represented by several subspecies. In the U.K. there are recent records from northeast Wales, the Bristol Channel area, Norfolk and Kent. Historically also from the West Country, Hampshire and Lincolnshire. Populations have decreased or vanished over the last few decades and so it is now a priority species under the U.K. Biodiversity Action Plan. The species inhabits dunes as well as sandy beaches where it may be active along the outer tidal area and the driftline. Adults are active from late April or May until August and are sometimes abundant. They move rapidly and fly readily in pursuit of prey and are difficult to catch; early in the day they may be seen basking to warm up and during the warmest part of the day, from early afternoon onwards, they dig shallow depressions in which they remain buried in order to avoid the heat. They are spring and summer breeders; larvae appear later in the summer in burrows on loose and dry sand. Either adults or larvae overwinter.

12-15mm. The only U.K. species with which this might be confused is C. hybrida. C. maritima is on average slightly smaller but in appearance is less robust due to its more slender build proportionally longer appendages. Formerly regarded as a subspecies of hybrida it is now understood to be distinct. Most specimens are straightforward to identify by the form of the transverse pale mark on the elytra, which is distinctly angled when compared with hybrida. In outline the elytra of maritima are distinctly more dilated in the apical half, and the frons bears a group of setae behind and inside the eyes; in hybrida there are only 2 or 3 setae. Easily separated from C. sylvatica by the pale labrum and basal segments of the labial palps.

Similar Species
Cicindela hybrida
  • Marginally larger (12-16mm).
  • Broader, more rounded elytra.
  • Median transverse pale band less angled.
Cicindela sylvatica
  • Larger (14-18mm)
  • Colour generally darker.
  • Labrum black, longitudinally keeled.
  • Characteristic, more elongate shape.
  • Elytra more heavily sculptured.

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