The recently rediscovered Miami tiger beetle, Cicindelidia floridana (Cartwright), is one of the rarest USA tiger beetles and recently listed as an endangered species. Herein, we report on its distribution, abundance, habitat, and conservation based on studies from 2008 through 2014. Surveys of 25 scrub and 20 pine rockland sites in south Florida found the species restricted to three contiguous sites in the Richmond Heights area of south Miami. Visual index counts found four to 38 adults at these sites. Seasonal activity of adults ranged from May to October, suggesting two cohorts of adults emerge during this period. Adults and larvae at all sites were restricted to the few open patches of sand scattered among the more densely vegetated areas. Numbers of larvae declined significantly after 2010. The low and apparently declining numbers of adults and larvae were associated with loss and reduction of the open sandy patches of habitat from encroaching vegetation at these sites. In addition to these significant threats to its survival, two major commercial developments have been proposed in and near Zoo Miami and are likely to eliminate some habitat and further constrain the needed prescribed burns. Limited management at the occupied sites has included removal of invasive plant species and prescribed burns, but these activities have been too infrequent to significantly improve habitat for the beetles.
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Vol. 72 • No. 1