Cicindela purpurea

Purple Tiger Beetle / Cow Path Tiger Beetle

Cicindela purpurea, Purple Tiger Beetle photo






Family: Carabidae

Subfamily: Cicindelinae

Length: 13-16 mm


The Purple Tiger Beetle is found from Quebec and British Columbia to southern California and North Carolina.

In West Virginia Cicindela purpurea is not common. Within the state it is more often found in the southern mountains and the eastern panhandle than elsewhere. Adults may be seen in the state in Spring, Summer, and Fall.

The elytral color can include shades of green, purple, and muted red. There is no spot on the shoulder, while at the center of each elytron is a bent line that does not reach the elytral edge. There is a dash at the rear of each elytron, and usually a white spot in front of the dash.

Cicindela purpurea overwinters both as adults and as larvae. The life cycle takes two or three years.

These beetles hunt on open ground, but also prefer to have grasses nearby for protective cover when needed.

The subspecies found in West Virginia is Cicindela purpurea purpurea.

Insects of West Virginia