Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version



Ghost Tiger Beetle (Cicindela lepida) A Species Conservation Assessment for The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project. Prepared by Melissa J. Panella, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Wildlife Division, December 2012


The primary goal in development of at-risk species conservation assessments is to compile biological and ecological information that may assist conservation practitioners in making decisions regarding the conservation of species of interest. The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project recognizes the ghost tiger beetle, a.k.a. white tiger beetle, (Cicindela lepida) as a Tier I at-risk species of high conservation priority. Some general management recommendations are made here regarding ghost tiger beetles; however, conservation practitioners will need to use professional judgment to make specific management decisions based on objectives, location, and a multitude of variables. This resource was designed to share available knowledge of ghost tiger beetles that will aid conservation practitioners in making decisions and in identifying research needs to benefit the species. Species conservation assessments should not be stagnant documents but rather will need to be updated as new relevant scientific information becomes available. The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project focuses efforts in the state’s Biologically Unique Landscapes (BULs), but it is recommended that whenever possible, practitioners make considerations for a species throughout its range in order to increase the outcome of successful conservation efforts.

Criteria for selection as Tier I G3

Trends since 2005 in NE Declining

Range in NE Statewide in localized populations

Habitat Sparsely-vegetated areas with open, sandy soils

Threats Habitat succession, trampling, lights, off-road vehicle traffic

Climate Change Vulnerability Index: Not Vulnerable, Presumed Stable

Research/Inventory Conduct species and habitat-type specific surveys to determine distribution, abundance, and conservation status

Landscapes Cherry County Wetlands, Dismal River Headwaters, Elkhorn River Headwaters, Indian Cave Bluffs, Platte Confluence, Upper Loup Rivers and Tributaries, and Sandsage Prairie

According to the last review in 2011, the ghost tiger beetle has a state Heritage status rank of S2, U.S. national status of N3N4, and global conservation rank of G3G4 (NatureServe 2009). The species is considered to be Vulnerable (NatureServe 2009). The Nebraska Natural Legacy Science Team set a goal of maintaining four populations in the state, assuming there is little movement between populations and fates of populations are not correlated. Moderate viability (40% chance of survival) of each population gives >99% probability of at least one population surviving 100 years (Morris et al. 1999).