Historical Study of Tiger Beetle Distributions in Georgia

Monday, March 3, 2014
Embassy Ballroom Prefunction (Embassy Suites Greenville Golf & Conference Center)
Elizabeth Studer , Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Tiger beetles are commonly the focus of conservation and biodiversity studies. Their stable taxonomy and occurrence in many diverse habitats make them ideal bioindicators of ecological health. Due to their attractive appearance they are frequently collected by both amateur and professional entomologists making them relatively abundant in museum collections. Museum specimen data, when interpreted cautiously, are a valuable source of information that can be used to map the distribution of species across time and space, thereby assisting long term conservation monitoring of tiger beetles and other species of interest. In this study, historical data from museum collections around Georgia were used to map the distribution of Cicindela that occur in the state. Spatial patterns, trends over time, and the potential effects of urbanization on tiger beetle biodiversity in Georgia, are discussed.