The Cicindela of Linnaeus

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Carl Linnaeus (or his ennobled name Carl von Linné or the latinate Carolus Linnaeus) laid the foundations for binomial nomenclature, modern taxonomy, and recognized the tiger beetles as a distinct group. As with much of Linnaeus’ writing the description of the genus is in Latin; in the first edition of Systema Naturae he erected the genus Cicindela, noting that unique appearance of the clypeus and the prominent mandibles.

 

From the publication of Systema Naturae and through subsequent editions until his death Linnaeus described eight tiger beetle species. While the species came from Europe, North America, and South Africa Linnaeus placed all eight species in the genus Cicindela. Later workers have dispersed these species across five genera and ajoined numerous subspecies since Linnaeus’ death in 1778.

Europe

Cephalota maura (Linnaeus, 1758)

Cicindela campestris Linnaeus, 1758

Cicindela hybrida Linnaeus, 1758

Cicindela sylvatica Linnaeus, 1758

 Cylindera germanica (Linnaeus, 1758)

North America

Tetracha carolina (Linnaeus 1767)

Tetracha virginica (Linnaeus, 1767)

South Africa

Habrodera capensis (Linnaeus, 1764)

References

Pearson, D. L., Cassola, F., 2005. A quantitative analysis of species descriptions of tiger beetles (Coeloptera: Cicindelidae), from 1758 to 2004, and notes about related developments in biodiversity studies. The Coleopterologists Bulletin, 59(2): 184-193.

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