Habitat Associations and Community Analysis of South Texas Dung Beetles Coleoptera Scarabaeinae

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1977
Authors:V. G. Nealis
Journal:Canadian Journal of Zoology
Keywords:Animalia-, Animals-, Arthropoda-, Arthropods-, Coleoptera-: Insecta-, Insects-, Invertebrata-, Invertebrates-, Plantae-, Plants-, usa canthon-imitator canthon-pilularius canthon-cyanellus canthon-vigilans glaphypocanthon-virids boreocanthon-ebenus melanoc

Baited pitfall traps were used to sample the Scarabaeinae dung beetle fauna in 6 habitats in south Texas [USA]. Habitats were defined according to their soil and vegetative cover characteristics. Most of the 19 scarab species [Canthon imitator, C. pilularis, C. cyanellus, C. vigilans, Glaphyrocanthon viridis, Boreocanthon ebenus, Melanocanthon bispinatus, Pseudocanthon perplexus, Atenchus histeroides, Copris fricator, C. remotus, Phanaeus difformis, Onthophagus orpheus, O. hecate, O. pennsylvanicus, O. oklahomensis, O. medorensis, O. shaefferi, Boreocanthon probus] collected displayed marked associations with a particular soil type (sand or clay) and (or) cover (shade or open). The result is the existence of distinct communities of coprophagous beetles, which differ in their species composition, species-abundance relations and efficiency of dung removal. A discussion of the evolution of these habitat associations and the ecological implications for pasture ecosystems is included.

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