Tiger beetle (Lophyra histrio)

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Tiger beetle Lophyra histrio
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Tiger beetle fact file

Tiger beetle description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderColeoptera
FamilyCarabidae
GenusLophyra (1)

Like many other species of tiger beetle, the eye-catching Lophyra histrio has attractive markings and a striking metallic colouration (3).  Its body is black, green and ivory, with darker antler-like marking which contrast with the ivory background of the elytra (3). Two other Lophyra species (Lophyra catena and Lophyra cancellata) share a similar pattern of markings but lack the dark red top leg section of Lophyra histrio (3)

Tiger beetles are generally most easily recognised by their long, thin running legs and streamlined bodies (2). Coupled with their prominent eyes and long, curved mandibles, these features make tiger beetles into fearsome predators (2).

Size
Length: 5 - 40 mm (2)
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Tiger beetle biology

This diurnal insect prefers bright sunny conditions and is often found alongside two other species of tiger beetle, Lophyra fischeri and Lophyra diania (3). Tiger beetles are fearsome predators and rely on fast bursts of speed and excellent eyesight in order to chase down prey (2). Lophyra histrio is known to prey on a variety of invertebrates including flies and ants (3).

Although there is no specific information on the reproductive behaviour of Lophyra histrio, most female tiger beetles dig a number of burrows and lay a single egg in each burrow after mating (4). The egg develops into a larva that is grub-like in appearance with a large head and fearsome mandibles. Tiger beetle larvae are carnivorous, and feed by positioning themselves at the top of their narrow burrows and ambushing small invertebrate prey (2).

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Tiger beetle range

Lophyra histriohas been recorded in the Arabian peninsula, in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. It is also known from Pakistan and Iran (3).

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Tiger beetle habitat

Lophyra histriois reported to prefer flat rocky surfaces at the edge of flowing water (3). It is also known to occur in low sand dunes and gardens (3).

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Tiger beetle status

This species has yet to be classified by the IUCN.

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Tiger beetle threats

There are currently no known threats facing Lophyra histrio.

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Tiger beetle conservation

Although Lophyra histriohas not yet been classified by the IUCN, tiger beetles in general are drawing attention from conservationists due to their decline in numbers, with many protected under national biodiversity laws (5) (6).

Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi is a principal sponsor of ARKive. EAD is working to protect and conserve the environment as well as promoting sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
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Find out more

For more information on conservation in the United Arab Emirates, see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

This species information was authored as part of the ARKive and Universities Scheme.
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Glossary

Carnivorous
Feeding on flesh.
Diurnal
Active during the day.
Elytra
In beetles and earwigs, the hard forewings. They are held aloft when the insect flies, and are often coloured or patterned.
Invertebrates
Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones) and echinoderms.
Larva
Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
Mandibles
The pair of mouthparts most commonly used for seizing and cutting food, common to the centipedes, millipedes and insects.
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References

  1. ZipcodeZoo (July, 2011)
    http://www.zipcodezoo.com/
  2. Pearson, D.L. and Vogler, A.P. (2001) Tiger Beetles: The Evolution, Ecology, and Diversity of the Cicindelids. Cornell University Press, New York.
  3. Gillett, M. (1995) An annotated and illustrated checklist of Tiger Beetles recorded from the Al Ain/Buraimi region of Eastern Arabia (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). Tribulus, 5: 13-17.
  4. Anderson, R. et al. (2003) Insects and Spiders of the World. Marshall Cavendish, New york.
  5. Maudsley, J.R. (2009) Taxonomy, ecology, and phylogeny of species of Lophyra Motschulsky 1859, subgenus Eriolophyra Rivalier 1948 (Coleoptera Cicindelidae). Tropical Zoology, 22: 57-70.
  6. IUCN Red List (July, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
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Image credit

Tiger beetle Lophyra histrio  
Tiger beetle Lophyra histrio

© David W Clark

Dave Clark
clarkdavidw@yahoo.com

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