Species At Risk

Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle

(Cicindela patruela)


Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle occurrences map


The Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle was formerly referred to as the Patterned Green Tiger Beetle. It is a relatively small (12 to 14.5 millimetres in length) ground beetle. Like all tiger beetles, it has conspicuously large eyes, large sickle-shaped mandibles and long legs. It is dull metallic green in colour with distinct cream-coloured markings on its otherwise green wing covers. The Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle has a two year life cycle. In Ontario, adults emerge from subterranean hibernation sites in late May, mate and lay eggs in June, and then die by early to mid July. Eggs hatch in mid July and the larvae remain in burrows for a year before transforming to pupa and then emerging as newly transformed adults in fall. The ‘grub-like’ tiger beetle larvae are light-coloured with a brown head capsule and a large set of mandibles. They are highly predaceous, ambushing small invertebrates that come within reach of the burrow entrance.

Action we are taking:


The Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle is a globally restricted, rare species found in only 30 sites in its north-central and eastern North America range, which extends as far north as southern Ontario. Although this tiger beetle has historically been recorded at three locations in Canada (two in Ontario and one in Quebec), it is currently only known to occur at a single site along the southeast shore of Lake Huron.


The Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle occurs in natural or other openings in sandy oak-pine woodlands and savannah. It prefers areas with sparse understorey vegetation over coarse-grained sand deposits. As such, it is dependent on periodic disturbances (e.g., fire) for the maintenance of its open habitat. Canadian populations of the Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle have been found in mature vegetated dunes and along trails.


Development, deforestation, human recreational activities, and fire suppression has occurred throughout most of the Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle’s range. It is thought that these human impacts are the primary factor causing the tiger beetle’s decline.


Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle and its habitat are protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.

What You Can Do to Help the Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. You may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • Don’t disturb wildlife. Be respectful and observe from a distance.
  • As with many other rare plants and animals, the Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle is at risk due to the loss of its specific sandy oak-pine woodland and savannah habitat. You can help by protecting natural vegetation on your property.
  • When visiting protected areas, be sure to adhere to the rules and stay on designated trails.

Did you know?

Northern Barrens Tiger Beetles are ambush predators. They mostly eat ants, but feed on a diversity of small insects.

Did you know?

The Bee Fly (Anthrax georgicus) is a parasite of tiger beetles and has contributed to the decline of some populations of Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle.

Did you know?

Females lay about 50 eggs during early summer. Each egg is placed in an individual hole in the ground ranging in depth from 3 to 5 millimetres.

Did you know?

Northern Barrens Tiger Beetles control their body temperature through their behaviour (e.g., basking in the sun or moving into the shade). They are most active on clear summer days when their internal temperature reaches 34°C.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.