The ecology and behaviour of arboreal dung beetles in Borneo

Publication Type:Book Chapter
Year of Publication:1997
Authors:A. J. Davis, Huijbregts, J., Kirk-Spriggs, A. H., Krikken, J., Sutton, S. L.
Editor:N. E. Stork, Adis, J., Didham, R. K.
Book Title:Canopy Arthropods
Publisher:Chapman & Hall
ISBN Number:0 412 74900 9

Dung beetles foraging in the rainforest canopy have been recorded on every sub- continent. Work at the Danum Valley Field Centre in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, revealed a guild of arboreal dung beetles found only metres above the forest floor up to the high forest canopy, and that feed on primate dung caught on canopy vegetation. The flight activity, spatial distribution and feeding ecology of this previously unrecorded guild of arboreal beetles is examined, and related to the ecology, behaviour and gut morphology of the primate species resident in the same forest. The dung-relocation behaviour of the Bornean dung beetles is atypical for the genus in which they are found, and breaks with the existing dichotomy ofdung beetle tribes into dung rollers and non-dung rollers. The implications of this discovery are discussed. This work gives a very real indication of how new light can be shed on the ecology of hopical insect communities by studying the strato-orientation of insects in response to conditions in the rainforest canopy, and the importance of canopy work in forming comprehensive descriptions of rainforest arthropod communities.

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