BiodiverseCity St. Louis

BiodiverseCity St. Louis is a growing network of organizations and individuals throughout the greater St. Louis region who share a stake in improving quality of life for all through actions that welcome nature into our urban, suburban and rural communities. Learn more about this effort, and join in.

Take Action Today…and Make It Count

Throughout St. Louis, every day, people are making big and small changes to their backyards, balconies, streetscapes, schoolyards, parking lots, and play areas. Some are doing this because they love nature and want to experience more of it in their daily lives. Others recognize that native plants in the right places help prevent flooding, clean and cool our air and improve human health and well-being. Still others embrace the positive impact that leafy streets, accessible parks, hiking/biking trails and other quality green spaces have on property values and the economic vibrancy of our region.

For all these reasons and more, the BiodiverseCitySTL Network invites each of the 2.9 million citizens of the greater St. Louis bi-state region to take action. In this spirit, we are excited to launch the Nature in Our Neighborhoods citizen action project. No matter who you are or where you live, all of us can do something to beautify, bio-diversify and better the communities in which we live, work, learn and play. To get started, check out our curated list of expert ideas and local resources from across our region, connect with others and share your stories.


Species Spotlight

Cicindela sexguttata
Six-spotted tiger beetle.
Photo by John Flannery. [CC BY-SA 2.0]
Six-spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela sexguttata)
So in keeping with our theme from last month’s spotlight on mosses, we’re embracing E.O. Wilson’s premise in his 1987 homage to invertebrates, "The Little Things that Run the World," by spotlighting a beetle. We simply could not let the year go by without doing so, given that beetles are estimated by many as the most dominant, species-rich group of terrestrial organisms, making up between one in five and one in three of all types of known life forms on Earth.

Belonging to a group called ground beetles (Carabidae), tiger beetles have our attention this month. While there are approximately 2,000 known species worldwide, 24 live in Missouri. Of these, Cicindela sexgutatta is likely the most commonly encountered and most easily recognized, given its shiny metallic green body armor. It can be found living in loamy and sandy soils in hardwood forests, as well as along our trails, dirt paths, and forest edges. Currently, adults are busy finding overwintering places to burrow.

The Carabid beetles are critically important biological control agents in agroecosystems, feasting on soil-dwelling insects including caterpillars, wireworms, maggots, ants, aphids, slugs and sometimes even the seeds of troublesome weeds. Their ginormous eyes, spiny powerful legs and large jaws make them among nature’s most formidable predators. Conserving C. sexguttata and its ground beetle relations can enhance the natural regulation of arthropod pest and weed populations, reducing the need for chemical controls.

Fun fact: C. sexguttata secretes a volatile chemical from its abdomen when captured. We recommend enjoying this shiny metallic insect at a distance.

To do: On November 21, spend an evening with entomologist Ted MacRae at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, where he will present "Tigers in My Backyard: An Introduction to Missouri’s Tiger Beetles and Their Conservation." You’ll learn more about the 24 species of tiger beetles currently known to live in Missouri, several of which warrant conservation interest due to their restricted distributions.


Featured Partner Programs

Milkweeds for Monarchs logo   Bring Conservation Home logo   Operation Clean Stream logo   Show Me Rain Gardens logo
A Community Initiative to Promote, Protect and Plan for Biodiversity Throughout the Greater St. Louis Region