hunting for Cylindera unipunctata

With its distinct brown coloration, minor maculations – only two small white spots at the mid-section of the outer edge of each elytron – and larger than almost all other U.S. tiger beetles, Cylindera unipunctata is certainly one of the most unique and well camouflaged cicindelids in the eastern United States.

Another aspect of this species is the elytral sculpting and fine mixture of colors which give the species its brown coloration.

This summer I had the luck to come across the larva of this species. I had began my search by combing over a number of exposed sections of soil in an area where I had previously found adult C. unipunctata.

After unsuccessfully trying to find the larvae in a wooded area, I moved along the cliff-like edge of a small stream and here I noticed a tell-tale hole in the sandy soil. Upon digging down several inches I came across this strange larva; unlike other tiger beetle larvae this one was oddly proportioned – more “chunky” – and larger than usual.

Additionally Knisley and Pearson note that the burrows of this species are markedly curved horizontally toward the bottom of the burrow; I observed this in the burrow I excavated.

I hope to rear this larva through to adulthood and confirm my suspicions…

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