HEATH TIGER BEETLE

Cicindela sylvatica 

Cicindela sylvatica - Heath Tiger Beetle

The largest of the tiger beetles, charcoal-black in colour with pale yellow markings on the wing cases.

  • Rarity: 6 sites in the south of England

  • Causes of decline:.Loss of heathlands and the decline in quality of those that remain. Also may be limited by a poor ability to disperse.

Heath Tiger Beetles have a fragmented distribution in the South of England, with small, isolated populations in Dorset, Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex.

 

The beetles have a poor ability to disperse and their heathland habitat has sadly become increasing fragmented over time, as large areas have been converted for agriculture, forestry and development. 

The remaining sites have been the focus of considerable conservation effort and as a result, the beetle populations do seem to be stable. However, to be confident of the future survival of the population, we need to work to increase the connectivity of the current sites, increase available habitat and help the populations grow.

One of the key problems facing the conservation of this species is that we do not have up to date information on its distribution. The Species Recovery Trust have been working to train volunteers over the last 3 years to identify and survey for the beetles.

We have set up a database on which we are collecting the records submitted by volunteers, and sharing these with all other interested conservation organisations.

In 2018, three historic locations for Heath Tiger Beetles and one known site were surveyed in the south of England. Heath Tiger Beetles were only found at the known site. No Heath Tiger Beetles were found on any of the historic sites. We were not able to survey as many sites this summer as planned due to a key member of staff going on maternity leave, however, these sites will all be surveyed next summer.