Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 117–123

Conservation Genetics of Cicindela Deserticoloides, an Endangered Tiger Beetle Endemic to Southeastern Spain


  • A.C. Diogo
    • Department of EntomologyThe Natural History Museum
  • A.P. Vogler
    • Department of EntomologyThe Natural History Museum
    • Department of BiologyImperial College at Silwood Park
  • A. Gimenez
    • Department of Ecology and HydrologyUniversity of Murcia
  • D. Gallego
    • Department of Ecology and HydrologyUniversity of Murcia
  • J. Galian
    • Department of Animal BiologyUniversity of Murcia

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009669614093

Cite this article as:
Diogo, A., Vogler, A., Gimenez, A. et al. Journal of Insect Conservation (1999) 3: 117. doi:10.1023/A:1009669614093


Population surveys of the tiger beetle, Cicindela (Cephalota) deserticoloides, endemic to the few remaining salt steppes of southeastern Spain revealed only four extant colonies. DNA sequencing of some 1896 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA for one specimen each from three populations revealed only a single base pair change confined to a single of the three specimens, thus indicating an extremely low level of differentiation when compared to similar populations of Cicindela (s.l.) elsewhere. Divergence of C. deserticoloides from the closest relatives in the Iberian Peninsula was between 6.9 and 9.9%, attesting to the uniqueness of the species and its high conservation status. Habitat requirements appear to be phylogenetically conserved within Cephalota, but C. deserticoloides seems to be more narrowly confined to relatively drier conditions than its less endangered relatives. The geographic range of the relatives is wider and their local abundance higher, indicating that habitat specialization, low abundance and small geographic range in C. deserticoloides are correlated and in sum are responsible for its vulnerability to extinction.

mitochondrial DNAinsect conservationCicindelidaeIberian biodiversityraritysalt flats

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999