Today, I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I would visit my good friend Cylindera
cursitans. 2006 through 2011, Ted MacRae, Chris Brown, and I learned some really cool things about this beetle in Missouri (MacRae et al. 2011)! The coolest thing was we found this beetle to be using habitats that were outside of habitats previously described in the literature. Bottomland forests are a difficult habitat to census because not only is the habitat structurally complex, but there are also Diptera in the bottomland forests who will command your attention as they try to take blood meals from you.
The Mississippi River has been high, we have had a cold and wet spring, and the bottomland forest (likely due to the lack of beach because of high water) was full of of the larger, and probably dangerous to C. cursitans, Cicindela repanda. Perhaps C. cursitans was not out yet, perhaps C. cursitans was hiding from Cicindela repanda, or perhaps they were in plan sight and I couldn’t find them – part of the fun of looking for insects is you never know what you might find. Even though I did not find what I wanted, I did get to spend a few moments in the company of mature trees next to the awesome Mississippi River and soak up the peace and tranquility.
I am sorry to have missed you Cylindera cursitans, but I will be in the neighborhood again soon – maybe we can visit then!
Reference: MacRae, T. C., C. R. Brown and K. Fothergill. 2011. Distribution, seasonal occurrence and conservation status of Cylindera (s. str.) cursitans (LeConte) (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) in Missouri. Cicindela 43.3:59–74.