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The Ecology of Bembidion obtusum (Ser.) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in Winter Wheat Fields in Ireland

T. F. Kennedy
Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy
Vol. 94B, No. 1 (Apr., 1994), pp. 33-40
Published by: Royal Irish Academy
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20499909
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Ecology of Bembidion obtusum (Ser.) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in Winter Wheat Fields in Ireland
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Abstract

Bembidion obtusum (Ser.) has been found to be one of the most numerous carabid beetles occurring in winter wheat in Ireland. The species showed both nocturnal and diurnal activity and was found in fields from autumn until early summer, but showed peak activity over winter when it dominated the carabid fauna. The field distribution of B. obtusum was aggregated with a mean density of 23/m², and beetles were only found in the soil surface layer. The width of the proximal protarsal segment was used to determine the sex of live beetles, males being larger than females. Egg-laying by B. obtusum was recorded in the laboratory during March and April. The opaque eggs were cylindrical in shape and measured 0.57mm × 0.34mm. The lifespan of beetles is considered to be one year. An examination of crop contents of B. obtusum showed that significantly more contained aphid remains than remains of Collembola or mites, but the diet varied with season.

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