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... The Błędowska Desert originated in the Middle Ages as a result of the intense mining and deforestation in the area of Olkusz. It is now the largest accumulation of loose sand in Central Europe (aside from beaches) (Węgrzyn and Wietrzyk 2014) and it supports a large M. bore population. When antlions are active (May-October), the mean temperature in the Błędowska Desert is 14.4 °C and the minimum and maximum temperatures reach − 3.7 and 32.4 °C, respectively (calculated for 2000-2015 from records provided by the nearby Olewin meteorological station of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, National Research Institute, Poland). ...
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Trap-building predators remain under strong selection from thermal microenvironments. To address how soil temperature and body size affect trap building, we conducted a laboratory experiment using larvae of the antlion Myrmeleon bore at six ecologically relevant temperatures. Larger larvae built larger traps, and warmer soil led to more and larger traps. Body mass did not alter the dependence of trap building on temperature. Our results suggest that the physiological capacity of antlion larvae, which is affected by larval size and body temperature, is the major determinant of trap building. This effect should be considered when assessing interactions between antlions and prey.
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