A history of taxonomic descriptions of tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) is presented from 1758, when the first species were described by Carl von Linné, to present day. The number of new species over 50 year periods shows an irregularly increasing species number that soon will exceed 2,600. Possible causes of these irregular patterns include economic and political upheavals that affected collecting and the near monopoly of descriptions by one or a few researchers during several periods. The growing influence of tiger beetles as models for patterns of use in biology, conservation, and general biodiversity are also discussed.
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