Cicindela javetii Chaudoir, 1861

Assmann, Thorsten, Boutaud, Esteve, Buse, Joern, Gebert, Joerg, Drees, Claudia, Friedman, Ariel-Leib-Leonid, Khoury, Fares, Marcus, Tamar, Orbach, Eylon, Ittai Renan,, Schmidt, Constantin & Zumstein, Pascale, 2018, The tiger beetles (Coleoptera, Cicindelidae) of the southern Levant and adjacent territories: from cybertaxonomy to conservation biology, ZooKeys 734, pp. 43-103: 55-57

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Cicindela javetii Chaudoir, 1861


2. Cicindela javetii Chaudoir, 1861  


Open habitats with dwarf shrubs and bare ground, mostly on loamy soils (own observations and Chikatunov pers. comm.), also in quarries. Israeli records from about 1000 m a.s.l. upwards, in Lebanon up to about 2200 m a.s.l. Diurnal.


Adults found mainly in May (April to June, own observation, Matalin and Chikatunov 2016). No verifiable records for the long activity period reported by Nussbaum (1987).

Distribution range.

Southern Turkey, Lebanon, southwestern Syria, and northern Israel ( Deuve 2011).

Distribution in the southern Levant.

Some records have been published by Deuve (2011). In Israel the species is only known from two areas: Mount Hermon (in the surrounding of Majdal-Shams) and from Mount Meron ( Nussbaum 1987).

Taxonomic notes.

The C. campestris   Linné, 1758 group in Asia Minor and the Middle East has been the object of recent studies (e.g. Deuve 2011; Franzen 2007; Matalin and Chikatunov 2016), but the taxonomic status of some populations has not yet been completely resolved. We agree with Azadbakhsh and Nozari (2015) that this entire tiger beetle group from South-west Asia needs to undergo revision. We believe that morphometric and molecular studies are necessary to solve the actual taxonomic and systematic problems of this group. Moreover, large amounts of material are needed for studies as the morphometric variability within populations is large ( Franzen 2007).

Following Deuve (2011: 136) the specimens from Israel belong to C. javetii azari   Deuve, 2011. Two further subspecies occur from Turkey to Lebanon and Syria: C. j. thughurica   Franzen, 2007 and the nominate subspecies. The taxon Cicindela thughurica   (Fig. 10 View Figures 7–10 ) described from southern Turkey, has been also recorded from south-western Syria (Bludan, north-west of Damascus) ( Avgin and Wiesner 2009). The given site is close to the Israeli border. The existence of two subspecies of this flight-active species in this small geographic area seems unlikely. Moreover, the elytral pattern, one of the main characters to distinguish the subspecies, is not constant but varies even within a given population clearly (Figs 8 View Figures 7–10 , 9 View Figures 7–10 ).

The very similar species C. herbacea   occurs from Lebanon and Syria to Iran including several populations and described subspecies ( Deuve 2011; 2012). The separation of these two species may be possible using male genitalia. Deuve emphasized the size and external shape of median lobe of aedeagus (cf. Figs 24 - 30 View Figures 29–32 in Deuve 2011). Matalin and Chikatunov (2016) also emphasized the length of the median lobe as a distinguishing character. However, we have specimens from northern Lebanon (Les Cedres, Bcharre) in which the median lobe is shorter than indicated by the latter authors. Also the external shape of the median lobe of both species, C. herbacea   and C. javetii   , varies greatly, even within a population (e.g. Bludan, Antilebanon, 1700-2300m, Fig. 39 View Figure 39 ), and not only between the populations of Cicindela javetii   (cf. Deuve 2011). However, the median lobe of Cicindela javetii   is in general more bent than that of Cicindela herbacea   . Although the ventro-lateral bladders of the median lobes ( Matalin and Chikatunov 2016) differ between the two species, they are not a useful character for identification as the procedure of evagination of the internal sac is not feasible for many entomologists. However, clear differences in the ratio internal sac to aedeagus length can usually be seen in embedded median lobes of aedeagus (Fig. 39 View Figure 39 ).

The body lengths of C. javetii   and C. herbacea   are not a good diagnostic character as the specimens in our collections show a stronger overlap than expected based in Deuve (2011). However, the proportion of the pronotum as described by Matalin and Chikatunov (2016) seems to be a good character for the identification of the two species.

As C. javetii   has recently been recognized as a species, the specimens from Israel are listed under the species names C. campestris   or C. herbacea   (e.g. Nussbaum 1987; Valdenberg 1983). The specimens from South-west Syria are published under the taxon names Cicindela herbacea   and Cicindela thughurica   (e.g. Avgin and Wiesner 2009). Ptashkovsky (2013) included a photograph of C. herbacea   , but it is unlikely that this specimen was collected in Israel.

The correct name of the taxon is Cicindela javetii   ( Chaudoir 1861: 1), not javeti (e.g. Deuve 2011; Matalin and Chikatunov 2016).


The species is most likely extinct in Israel, as there have been no new records in the last two decades despite intensive searches on the sites from which the species was previously known. In most cases, the relevant habitats have been destroyed. Populations still exist on the Syrian side of the Hermon, as specimens have been collected there as recently as 2007 (<Syria Occ. Bludan / 40 km west of Damascus / 1700-2300m Antilebano(n) / leg. A. Wrzecionko / 5.5.2007> and same locality, but < … 2200m / Skoupý leg.>; CAL, CGS).