Here is an unusual and rather uncommon tiger beetle – Cicindela ancocisconensis – I came across a number of these beetles when I was out at Breaks Interstate park. I spent an near idyllic afternoon there observing and photographing individuals a couple of summers ago.
This 4600 acre park which sits on the Virginia/Kentucky border is home to the aptly named “Grand Canyon of the South,” a five mile long, 1650 foot deep gorge through which the Russell Fork river runs.
In most of their range – mountain river in the eastern U.S. and Canada – Cicindela ancocisconensis is rather uncommon if not gone all together, but here at Breaks (the habitat has been protected since 1954) there were moderate to even high numbers of these beetles on the shore and rocks along the Russell Fork river.
One interesting facet of this species is its dark metallic green to deep purple underside, which starkly contrasts with its fairly normal Cicindela repanda-like appearance, and distinctive tri-toothed labrum.