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Flightlessness and Rapid Terrestrial Locomotion in Tiger Beetles of the Cicindela L. Subgenus Rivacindela van Nidek from Saline Habitats of Australia (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae)
Sophien Kamoun and Saskia A. Hogenhout
The Coleopterists Bulletin
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Sep., 1996), pp. 221-230
Published by: The Coleopterists Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4009161
Page Count: 10
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Tiger beetles of the genus Cicindela L. subgenus Rivacindela van Nidek from saline habitats of Australia display great variation in locomotory behavior. A total of 30 species have been described, nine of which are flightless. A notable consequence of brachyptery in Rivacindela is the evolution of very rapid terrestrial locomotion. Brachypterous beetles reach significantly higher cursorial velocities than macropterous ones. The running speeds attained by flightless Rivacindela are the fastest ever recorded for insects. The large species, Cicindela hudsoni Sumlin, reaches a maximal speed of 2.5 m.s-1, whereas the small-sized Cicindela eburneola Sumlin, attains the remarkable relative velocity of 170 body length.s-1. The evolution of flightlessness in Australian Cicindela occurred only in Rivacindela species and in Cicindela (Macfarlandia) arachnoides Sumlin, a mimic of lycosid spiders. Correlation between flightlessness and stable and isolated habitats is noted and discussed.
The Coleopterists Bulletin © 1996 The Coleopterists Society