Tiger beetles are one of the most obvious and ubiquitous families of any insect taxon-some 2300 species are found on nearly all the land surfaces of the earth. Their frequently showy colors, brazen behavior, and ability to live in habitats ranging from dry, alkaline lakebeds to tropical rain forests have captured the interest of amateur and professional entomologists alike. Although tiger beetles have been widely studied, the wealth of knowledge has been synthesized only briefly in a few sources. In Tiger Beetles, David L. Pearson and Alfried P. Vogler provide for the first time a detailed integration and summary of all that is known about the family Cicindelidae. The book’s early chapters cover anatomy, distribution, and natural history. Pearson and Vogler build from these basics to show the usefulness of tiger beetles for exploring questions in genetics, biogeography, ecology, behavior, and conservation. As bioindicators, the tiger beetles present in an area may allow biologists to pinpoint places with the richest diversity of animal and plant life. The use of tiger beetles as model organisms has made possible or greatly enhanced many areas of research, including molecular phylogeny, the function of acute hearing, spatial modeling, and physiology of vision.
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