ID Challenge #13 – Addendum

I hope you’ll forgive this inordinately extended challenge—I’m taking a little bit of a breather from my normally frenetic working/writing/editing schedule to enjoy a most unexpected baseball post-season.  I will be going through the comments left for ID Challenge #13 and releasing them shortly with awarded points, and without saying precisely what the scene in that challenge showed I will say that several participants correctly identified it as a sand dune habitat shaped by wind and dotted with tiger beetle burrows.  Since this is the last challenge of BitB Challenge Session #4, I thought I would extend it a little further and give people one more shot at scoring points on this challenge before the Session #4 standings are finalized and the winner announced.  The photo in this post shows the culprit responsible for the holes in the earlier photo—can you name it?  Of course, we all know it’s a tiger beetle (don’t we?), so genus and species will be fine and are worth 4 points each (if following the most recent classification).  As always, standard challenge rules apply, and I will be continuing the moderated comments during this extended challenge period.  I promise not to let another week pass before posting the full story.

 Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2011

19 thoughts on “ID Challenge #13 – Addendum

  1. Considering the lack of photos on the internet, I probably wouldn’t have been able to identify this guy as “Alocinera alednicic” if you hadn’t left the clue in the mouse-over info box. When you said 4 points for genus and species following the most recent classification, it made me second guess that this was really Cicindela arenicola. However, based on the desciprion in “A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada,” (Which amazingly had the descriptions of C. arenicola and C. waynei, which was until recently considered a geographic varient of C. arenicola, as two of the few preview pages on Google Books!) I’m pretty sure this is the St. Anthony Dunes tiger beetle. Since the guide says that C. arenicola is coppery red to greenish red, while C. waynei is greenish and has an upward-facing tooth on its jaws, and the beetle in your photo looks to have more reddish markings and no upward-facing tooth, I’m gonna say this is C. arenicola. In that case, the photo of the burrows was not taken at the Maybell Dunes in Colorado, but the St. Anthony Dunes in Idaho. And if the earlier photo did show the burrows of C. arenicola, I’m guessing the herbacide treatment worked to restore the beetles’ native habitat. Also, I still think there are tracks left by a bird (Phylum–Chordata, Class–Aves) visible in the photo of the burrows, but I have no idea on species now.

  2. I’ve been trying to avoid challenges, but the road to some place hot (not Alberta) is paved with such good intentions. Besides, there was recently a great paper in PoLS One by Alan Harvey and Sarah Zukoff about a tiger beetle Cicindela dorsalis media larvae that when disturbed, leap out of their burrows, grab their tails in their mouths, and them let the wind roll them wheel-like across their sand dunes in the barrier islands off the Georgia coast. Could it be that is what the picture shows? If not, it is still a great paper and led to me reading others on stomatopods and caterpillars that also roll.

  3. Pingback: ID Challenge #13 results and Session #4 final standings « Beetles In The Bush


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