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Effects of Clearing in a Tropical Rain Forest on the Composition of the Coprophagous Scarab Beetle Fauna (Coleoptera)
H. F. Howden and V. G. Nealis
Vol. 7, No. 2 (Jul., 1975), pp. 77-83
Published by: Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2989750
Page Count: 7
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Sixty species of beetles in the family Scarabaeidae were attracted to dung and carrion traps set near Leticia, Amazonas, Colombia, in 1972 and 1974. Diversity remained fairly constant in forested areas of terra firma, with 11 species comprising the great majority of individuals. Bait preference was low, being most pronounced between dung and carrion with little difference between human and monkey dung. However, human dung was most attractive in terms of both numbers of individuals and species. In a five-day period dung traps lost much of their attractiveness. There was no evidence of a "trapping-out" effect. Forested areas of terra firma had a scarab fauna approximately five times as diverse as areas flooded annually. Forest clearing drastically reduced both numbers of species and individuals, only six species being taken in traps set in clearings. However, four of these six species were not taken in any of the forest areas. This reduction of the coprophagous fauna in clearings drastically slows the removal of dung from the surface of the ground, increasing the number of potential breeding sites for flies and greatly increasing the possibility of helminth infections in man and other animals.
Biotropica © 1975 Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation