Endangered Species
Mountain-Prairie Region
SALT CREEK TIGER BEETLE

  Salt Creek tiger beetle

Species Description:  The Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana) is an active, ground-dwelling, predatory insect that captures smaller or similar sized arthropods in a ‘‘tiger-like’’ manner by grasping prey with its mandibles (mouthparts). The Salt Creek tiger beetle is metallic brown to dark olive green above with a metallic dark green underside. This insect measures about 0.5 inch in total length.  It is distinguished from other tiger beetles by its distinctive form and the color pattern on its dorsal and ventral surfaces. 

Salt Creek tiger beetle larvae live in permanent burrows in the ground and are voracious predators, fastening themselves by means of abdominal hooks near the tops of their burrows and rapidly extending from them to seize passing invertebrate prey. The adult Salt Creek tiger beetle has a two year life cycle and spends 11 months of the year underground, surfacing for only about six weeks, from around mid June through July. Adults are found in the moist, muddy areas within just a few yards of wetland and stream edges. They have adapted to brief periods of high water inundation and highly saline conditions.

Location:   The Salt Creek tiger beetle is confined to eastern Nebraska saline wetlands and associated streams and tributaries of Salt Creek in the northern third of Lancaster County.  The insect is believed to have disappeared from the southern margin of Saunders Counties.  It is found along mud banks of streams and seeps, and in association with saline wetlands and exposed mud flats of saline wetlands.

Actions: On March 12, 2014, the Service announced the availability of a Draft Economic Analysis and Draft Environmental Assessment for the proposed redesignation of critical habitat for the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle. The Service will open a 15-day public comment period until March 28, 2014, to allow the public to review these draft documents and the June 4, 2013 proposed critical habitat rule.

As of June 3, 2013, we are seeking public input on a proposed revision of critical habitat for the rare Salt Creek tiger beetle. While only a few hundred beetles remain in three small populations in Nebraska on less than 35 acres, this revision will guide conservation efforts for the species, which includes proposed critical habitat for 1,110 acres of saline wetlands. This designation of 1,110 acres is smaller than the previous designation, but contains sufficient suitable habitat to support recovery of the species, and includes two additional stream corridors that were not previously included which could support Salt Creek tiger beetle populations in the future. The goal of this designation is to support at least 6 populations of Salt Creek tiger in the future. The Service has opened a 60-day comment period to allow the public and stakeholders an opportunity to comment on this proposal through August 5, 2013.

On June 20, 2011, we initiated 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), of 2 animal and 10 plant species. We are requesting any information that has become available since our original listing of each of these species. Based on review results, we will determine whether we should change the listing status of any of these species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated approximately 1,933 acres of land in Lancaster and Saunders Counties, Nebraska, as critical habitat for the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle. 

The four areas designated as critical habitat are:  (1) Upper Little Salt Creek North in Lancaster County, (2) Little Salt Creek – Arbor Lake in Lancaster County, (3) Little Salt Creek – Roper in Lancaster County, and (4) Rock Creek – Jack Sinn Wildlife Management Area in Lancaster and Saunders Counties.  Saline wetland and stream complexes found along Little Salt Creek and Rock Creek comprise the critical habitat designation. 

Critical habitat is a term defined in the Endangered Species Act.  It identifies geographic areas containing features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and may require special management considerations or protection.

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Last updated: March 13, 2014