CARRION PREFERENCE AND PHENOLOGY OF NECROPHILOUS SILPHID AND STAPHYLINID BEETLES (COLEOPTERA) IN A SOUTHERN NEW YORK WOODLAND

EDWARD CHARLES DEMAREST, Fordham University

Abstract

This study analyzes the carrion preferences and phenologies of silphid and staphylinid beetles in a moist deciduous, southern New York woodland.^ Twelve pitfall traps, 4 baited with fish carrion; 4, with frog carrion; and 4, with mouse carrion were operated in a moist wooded valley in the New England Highlands at Fordham University's Louis Calder Conservation and Ecology Study Center near Armonk, Westchester County, New York. The traps were serviced regularly from June through December, 1974, and from March to August, 1975. Six silphid species were attracted representing 2,412 individuals, and 54 staphylinid species were attracted representing 5,251 individuals.^ Various Silphidae showed significantly ( = .05) different carrion responses in the following chi-square tests: Necrophilus pettiti responded significantly to fish over mouse; Necrophorus orbicollis to fish over frog or mouse and to mouse over frog; N. tomentosus, to fish over frog or mouse and to mouse over frog; and Silpha noveboracensis, to fish over frog or mouse and to frog over mouse.^ The following Staphylinidae also exhibited significantly different bait responses: Aleochara lata responded to fish and frog over mouse; Belonuchus formosus, to frog and mouse over fish; Ontholestes cingulatus, to fish over frog or mouse; Philonthus cyanipennis, to frog over fish or mouse; Staphylinus viridanus, to fish over frog; Tachinus fumipennis, to mouse over fish or frog; and T. minimus, to frog and mouse over fish. Five unidentified "species" also showed significant bait responses. These results strongly suggest the existence of carrion resource partitioning within the necrophilous insect community. Philonthus blandus, Tachinus luridus, and three unidentified "species" demonstrated no significantly different responses.^ The seasonal activity pattern (phenology) of each species is also described. The small, weak silphid, Necrophilus pettiti, and three small staphylinids (Lordithon sp., Omalium sp. and Proteinus sp.) exhibited unusually early and late season activity peaks. These patterns would greatly diminish competition with summer species.^ The phenologies are compared with Pirone's (1974) findings. Sympatrically collected species manifested similar activity patterns, but the numbers collected often diverged greatly.^

Subject Area

Ecology|Entomology

Recommended Citation

DEMAREST, EDWARD CHARLES, "CARRION PREFERENCE AND PHENOLOGY OF NECROPHILOUS SILPHID AND STAPHYLINID BEETLES (COLEOPTERA) IN A SOUTHERN NEW YORK WOODLAND" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8219238.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8219238

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