Photo Ark: Miami Tiger Beetle

Photo Ark: Miami Tiger Beetle

The Dazzling, Endangered Miami Tiger Beetle


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Biology, Conservation, Geography

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The Miami tiger beetle (Cicindelidia florida) looks like a tiny, shimmering jewel with big eyes. It lives only in the pine rockland habitat of Miami-Dade County in the U.S. state of Florida. Like a tiger, the beetle is a fierce predator and known for its speed at chasing down its prey. First discovered in the 1930s, the Miami tiger beetle was thought to be extinct for six decades, but in 2007 it was seen again in Miami. As a predator, the beetle helps control the number of smaller insects in the ecosystem. It is also prey for larger insects, birds, and reptiles.

Despite its return, only two isolated populations of the Miami tiger beetle are known to exist. Just 2 percent of pine rocklands still exist outside of Everglades National Park. That means the construction of new buildings and theme parks pose serious threats to the beetle’s remaining habitat. In 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated several parks and neighborhood areas in urban Miami as protected habitat. These nearly 809 hectares (2,000 acres) will help the beetle recover. Still, it will take a community effort to protect these beetles and the unique pine rockland ecosystem they need to survive.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Corinne Rucker, National Geographic Society
Sara Nachtigal, Ph.D., Educurious
Hanna Jaramillo, M.S. Ed., Educurious
Latia White, Ed.D., Inclusive Innovation Researcher, Global Inclusive Learning Design Reviewer
Rights Clearance
Jean Cantu, National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Patrick Cavanagh, National Geographic Society
Clint Parks
Last Updated

March 5, 2024

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