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Survey of Twig-Inhabiting Coleoptera in Louisiana, USA


Abstract and Figures

Twigs are an understudied habitat utilized by many beetle species. Samples of twigs were collected in all six Level III Ecoregions in Louisiana during April and May 2013. The twigs were maintained in emergence chambers from which 942 specimens of adult Coleoptera were obtained, representing 31 families, 111 genera, and 128 species. Beetle richness and composition were not significantly different among ecoregions. Three species collected represent new state records: Pseudochoragus nitens (LeConte) (Anthribidae); Dryotribus mimeticus Horn (Curculionidae); and Narthecius grandiceps LeConte (Laemophloeidae). Four non-native species, all Curculionidae, were collected: Cyrtepistomus castaneus (Roelofs) (Entiminae); Cnestus mutilatus (Blandford) (Scolytinae); Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky) (Scolytinae); and Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford) (Scolytinae).
Content may be subject to copyright.
The Coleopterists Bulletin, 70(3): 551558. 2016.
Clemson University Arthropod Collection
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
277 Poole Agricultural Center, Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634-0310, U.S.A.
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
University of California, Berkeley
130 Hilgard Way
Berkeley, CA 94720, U.S.A.
Twigs are an understudied habitat utilized by many beetle species. Samples of twigs were collected in all six Level III
Ecoregions in Louisiana during April and May 2013. The twigs were maintained in emergence chambers from
which 942 specimens of adult Coleoptera were obtained, representing 31 families, 111 genera, and 128 species. Beetle
richness and composition were not significantly different among ecoregions. Three species collected represent new
state records:Pseudochoragus nitens (LeConte) (Anthribidae); Dryotribus mimeticus Horn (Curculionidae); and
Narthecius grandiceps LeConte (Laemophloeidae). Four non-native species, all Curculionidae, were collected:
Cyrtepistomus castaneus (Roelofs) (Entiminae); Cnestus mutilatus (Blandford) (Scolytinae); Xylosandrus crassiusculus
(Motschulsky) (Scolytinae); and Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford) (Scolytinae).
Key Words: emergence chamber, beetles, fine woody debris, saproxylic, species richness
Of what use are twigs
but to sweep up litter
of fallen petals?
-Yosa Buson (translated by Harry Behn)
Twigs are more than a potential eye hazard to a
hiker, convenient kindling, or the bane of a subur-
banites lawn. Recent studies have revealed that
twigs and fine woody debris (FWD) are over-
looked habitats that support a rich beetle fauna.
A review of community-level surveys of North
American Coleoptera collected from FWD (up to
64 mm diameter) listed 83 species (Ferro et al.
2009). Collection of beetles emergent from mixed
hardwood FWD (2570 mm diameter) in Great
Smoky Mountains National Park resulted in 1,544
specimens representing 162 species (Ferro et al.
2012). Two studies in Louisiana of twigs (14 ±
5 mm diameter) from Quercus falcata Michaux
(southern red oak, Fagaceae) resulted in the col-
lection of 414 beetles representing 35 species
(Ferro et al. 2009) and 39 beetles representing 21 spe-
cies (Ferro and Gimmel 2014).
Woody debris of all sizes is an important habi-
tat for many insects, especially Coleoptera (see
review in Ferro et al. 2012). Woody debris is gen-
erally divided into two size classes based on
diameter: coarse and fine. There are no standard-
ized size definitions. Commonly, the lower limit
of coarse woody debris (CWD) falls between a
diameter of 2575 mm (Harmon et al. 1986), any-
thing smaller is considered FWD. Ferro et al.
(2012) defined FWD as woody debris with 25
70 mm diameter and originating from trees. Ferro
et al. (2009) and Ferro and Gimmel (2014) con-
sistently used the term twigsto refer to woody
debris originating from trees that fell below 25 mm
diameter. In an effort to provide consistency, the
terms CWD, FWD, and twig will be used in this
study as defined above.
The purpose of this exploratory study was to
survey the beetle diversity within twigs through-
out various habitats in the state of Louisiana and
further develop the list of beetles that utilize the
twig habitat. A secondary purpose was to investi-
gate the community structure of twig-inhabiting
beetles among Louisiana ecoregions.
North America is divided into a hierarchical
arrangement of ecoregions based on shared biotic
and abiotic characteristics (CEC 1997). Louisiana
contains two Level I, three Level II, and six
Level III Ecoregions (CEC 2006; Daigle et al. 2006)
(Table 1; Fig. 1). In an effort to thoroughly survey
twig beetle fauna within Louisiana, samples were
taken at each of the six Level III Ecoregions of
the state (Table 2). Specific sample sites were
chosen based on presence of forest cover and
availability of fine woody debris.
Samples consisted of dead twigs from hard-
wood trees, <25 mm diameter and broken into
<40 cm lengths. An effort was made to collect
twigs from a wide variety of tree species and cir-
cumstances, e.g., touching the ground, hanging
above the ground, attached to tree, dry, moist, lit-
tle decay, heavy decay. Twigs were collected dur-
ing April and May 2013 and immediately placed
into emergence chambers (see Ferro and Carlton
2011 for design). An AprilMay collection time
in Louisiana ensured that the twigs contained liv-
ing beetles presumably ready for a spring emer-
gence. An average of 180 twigs were placed in
each emergence chamber. A total of 36 samples
were taken at 19 locations, where each Level III
Ecoregion was represented by at least three loca-
tions (Table 2).
Emergence chambers were taken to Feliciana
Preserve (West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana) and
placed outdoors in a shaded, tree-covered area.
Beetles were allowed to emerge until 5 September
2013 (45 months) when all specimens were col-
lected. Propylene glycol was used as a killing and
preserving agent. Adult Coleoptera were pinned
or point-mounted as needed and labeled. Identifi-
cation to the lowest taxon level possible (typically
species) was performed with the appropriate taxo-
nomic literature and/or comparison with authorita-
tively identified reference specimens. All other
macroinvertebrates were retained, labeled, and pre-
served in 90% ethanol. Specimens are deposited in
the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, Louisiana
State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Statistical comparisons of the community of
twig-inhabiting beetles were performed in R (R
Core Team 2015) with adonis in the vegan pack-
age (Okanen et al. 2005). Ecoregion, mean annual
temperature, annual precipitation, thermal line, and
hydric soil rating (US Geological Survey 1998)
were used as predictor variables for community dif-
ferences. Total richness was estimated using Chao-1
(Chao 1984).
In total, 942 specimens of adult Coleoptera
were obtained, representing 31 families, 111 gen-
era, and 128 species (or lowest taxonomic unit
when species could not be determined) (Table 3;
Appendix 1). Despite the size of this study with
36 samples at 19 locations (6,400+ twigs), few
species were recovered in abundance. Fifteen spe-
cies (12%) were represented by 10 or more speci-
mens, 56 (44%) were singletons, 70 (55%) were
collected from only a single ecoregion, 10 (8%)
were collected from five or more ecoregions, and
64 (50%) were collected from only one sample.
No significant differences in taxon richness
among ecoregions and no significant differences
among communities based on any of the predictor
variables were found (p> 0.05). Community sam-
pling was not saturated for any ecoregion (data
not shown). Chao-1 estimated a total richness of
228 species.
Table 1. Level IIII Ecoregions in Louisiana (CEC
2006). Numbers in parentheses correspond to Level III
Ecoregion designations from Daigle et al. (2006).
8.0 Eastern Temperate Forests
8.3 Southeastern USA Plains
8.3.5 (65) Southeastern Plains
8.3.6 (74) Mississippi Valley Loess Plains
8.3.7 (35) South Central Plains
8.5 Mississippi Alluvial And Southeast USA Coastal
8.5.2 (73) Mississippi Alluvial Plain
8.5.3 (75) Southern Coastal Plain
9.0 Great Plains
9.5 Texas-Louisiana Coastal Plain
9.5.1 (34) Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Fig. 1. Level III Ecoregions in Louisiana and col-
lection locations. See Table 2 for location information.
Eleven species collected during this study over-
lapped with previous studies (Ferro et al. 2009;
Ferro and Gimmel 2014), bringing the total num-
ber of twig-inhabiting beetle species in Louisiana
to 167. Chao-1 estimated a total richness of 228 spe-
cies, showing that the sampling in this study only
found 64% of the expected number of beetles.
Finding that more species are expected was not
surprising as it is often the case in studies with
(what turned out to be) relatively small sam-
pling. However, the rarified dispersion of species
among the samples in this study was surprising. It
is in contrast to the high overlap of species among
twig bundles reported by Ferro et al. (2009),
which suggested a diverse but predictable com-
munity of beetles was associated with twigs.
Despite this contrast, the lack of community dif-
ferences among the various predictor variables
within Level III Ecoregions suggests that twig
communities are homogeneous and that twigs in
the broad sense are a uniform resource that are
home to a specific guild of beetles. However,
high species richness implies that variations within
the twig habitat (e.g., tree species, age, position,
Table 2. Localities and dates of twig collections. # = number on map (Fig. 1); numbers in parentheses correspond
to Level III Ecoregion designations from Daigle et al. (2006) (Table 1); (x2) = two samples taken from single location.
# Parish Location Latitude Longitude Date
(34) 1 Cameron Pevito Woods Sanctuary (x2) N 29.7576° W 93.6029° 20 April 2013
2 Jefferson Davis Jennings (x2) N 30.2376° W 92.6338° 20 April 2013
3 Vermilion Palmetto SP (x2) N 29.8662° W 92.1337 20 April 2013
(35) 4 Bossier Bayless Estate N 32.4496° W 93.8510° 11 May 2013
5 Bienville Big Cypress SP (x2) N 32.2552° W 92.9758° 12 May 2013
6 Catahoula Sicily Island WMA N 31.8118° W 91.7642° 14 April 2013
Sicily Island WMA N 31.8064° W 91.7729° 14 April 2013
7 Rapides Kincaid Recreation Area (x2) N 31.2672° W 92.6234° 11 May 2013
(65) 8 Tangipahoa Sandy Hollow WMA N 30.8016° W 90.3773° 4 April 2013
Sandy Hollow WMA N 30.8013° W 90.3800° 4 April 2013
9 Washington Bogue Chitto SP N 30.7803° W 90.1480° 4 April 2013
Bogue Chitto SP N 30.7796° W 90.1429° 4 April 2013
10 Washington 7 k W Bogalusa (x2) N 30.8569° W 89.9639° 4 April 2013
(73) 11 Concordia Bayou Cocodrie NWR (x2) N 31.5638° W 91.5601° 5 May 2013
12 Avoyelles Pomme de Terre WMA (x2) N 31.0280° W 91.8406° 14 April 2013
13 Iberville Sherburne WMA N 30.4193° W 91.6508° 14 April 2013
Sherburne WMA N 30.4248° W 91.6732° 14 April 2013
(74) 14 West Feliciana Tunica Hills WMA N 30.9377° W 91.5087° 4 May 2013
Tunica Hills WMA N 30.9322° W 91.5196° 4 May 2013
15 West Feliciana Feliciana Preserve N 30.7946° W 91.2537° 4 May 2013
Feliciana Preserve N 30.7956° W 91.2566° 4 May 2013
16 Livingston Tickfaw SP (x2) N 30.3827° W 90.6483° 4 May 2013
(75) 17 Tangipahoa East of Hammond (x2) N 30.5175° W 90.3733° 4 April 2013
18 Covington Fairview Riverside SP N 30.4111° W 90.1440° 4 April 2013
19 St. Tammany Honey Island WMA N 30.3741° W 89.6740° 4 April 2013
Honey Island WMA N 30.3879° W 89.6800° 4 April 2013
Table 3. Taxon richness by ecoregion. Numbers in parentheses correspond to Level III Ecoregion designations
from Daigle et al. (2006) (Table 1).
Ecoregion # families # genera # species
Western Gulf Coastal Plains (34) 19 37 39
South Central Plains (35) 17 40 42
Southeastern Plains (65) 16 34 34
Mississippi Alluvial Plains (73) 15 38 46
Mississippi Valley Loess Plains (74) 16 37 41
Southern Central Plain (75) 17 36 40
Total 31 111 128
season of death) result in a wide variety of niches,
and the life of a dead twig is more dynamic
than anticipated.
It is important to note that the lack of signifi-
cant differences in species richness or community
composition among Level III Ecoregions may be
influenced by the relatively small study size and
inability to saturate sampling. Additionally, this
and previous studies (Ferro et al. 2009; Ferro and
Gimmel 2014) are biased for species that over-
winter in twigs. However, even if these limitations
were overcome, the necessary fast life cycle and
vagility of most twig-inhabiting beetles may result
in a more or less homogenous community at
scales greater than Level III Ecoregions as seen
by Ferro et al. (2009). Additionally, aggregation
of twigs to a single location for emergence may
have influenced what species emerged, but that
seems unlikely due to the overall taxonomic diver-
sity observed.
Three species collected represent new state
records.Pseudochoragus nitens (LeConte)
(Anthribidae) (Fig. 2) was previously known only
from Massachusetts and Latimer Co., Oklahoma,
where it was collected by beating dead hickory
branches (Valentine 1991). Dryotribus mimeticus
Horn (Curculionidae) (Fig. 3) has a wide distribution,
but is only reported from Florida and South Carolina
in the USA and associated with driftwood along
beaches (Anderson 2002). Narthecius grandiceps
LeConte (Laemophloeidae) (Fig. 4) has only been
reported from Pennsylvania, Florida, and Latimer
Co., Oklahoma. It is a suspected predator of
Scolytinae (Curculionidae) and has been collected
from sweetgum and red oak (Thomas 1993).
Additionally, four non-native species, all Curcu-
lionidae, were collected: Cyrtepistomus castaneus
(Roelofs) (Entiminae); Cnestus mutilatus (Blandford)
(Scolytinae); Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky)
(Scolytinae); and Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford)
Figs. 24. Species of new Louisiana state records. 2) Pseudochoragus nitens;3) Dryotribus mimeticus Horn;
4) Narthecius grandiceps.
(Scolytinae). The scolytines are invasive species in
the USA. Cnestus mutilatus was reported damag-
ing plastic gas cans in Louisiana, presumably mis-
taking the container for desirable habitat (Carlton
and Bayless 2011).
Twigs are a convenient study systemthey are
inexpensive to obtain, abundant, and easily col-
lected, transported, and stored. Furthermore, they
provide substrates in which beetles may be
rearedin the field, and their transportability
allows for easy field manipulation to investigate
the ecology of twig-inhabiting beetles. The high
species richness and multiple guilds that twigs
harbor indicate that they may be useful for 1) util-
itarian studies (ecological indicators, impact, resto-
ration) as well as being 2) a worthy study system
unto themselves (fun). More general exploratory
studies and surveys are needed to better flesh out
the total diversity of beetles in twigs. However, the
findings of this research make it apparent that eco-
logical studies attempting to discover statistically
meaningful differences will have to be either much
larger or more specific in focus.
We thank Andrew Flick, Jong-Seok Park,
Daniel Pessoa de Moura, and Brian Reily for help
in the field. Many thanks to Anthony Cognato
(Scolytinae), Matthew Gimmel (Phalacridae), Brittany
Owens (Staphylinidae), Jong-Seok Park (Staphylinidae),
Brian Reily (Cleridae), and Alexey Tishechkin
(Histeridae, Buprestidae) for help with species iden-
tifications. We thank Dorothy Prowell for allowing
the study to be conducted on her property.
Anderson, R. S. 2002. 131. Curculionidae Latreille
1802 [pp. 722815]. In: American Beetles.
Volume 2. Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through
Curculionoidea (R. H. Arnett, Jr., M. C. Thomas,
P. E. Skelley, and J. H. Frank, editors). CRC Press,
Boca Raton, FL.
Carlton, C. E., and V. Bayless. 2007. Documenting
beetle (Arthropoda: Insecta: Coleoptera) diversity
in Great Smoky Mountains National Park: beyond
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1997. Ecological regions of North America: Toward
a common perspective. Commission for Environ-
mental Cooperation, Montreal, QC, Canada.
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ber of classes in a population. Scandinavian
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Faulkner, R. P. McCulloh, L. R. Handley, L. M.
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# Species
Level III Ecoregion
34 35 65 73 74 75
1Choragus harrisii LeConte 1
2Euparius paganus Gyllenhal 1
3Eusphyrus walshi LeConte 1 1 4
4Euxenus punctatus LeConte 2 1
5Goniocloeus bimaculatus (Olivier) 1 2
6Piesocorynus mixtus LeConte 2 1
7Pseudochoragus nitens (LeConte) 1
8Diplocoelus rudis (LeConte) 1 2 1
9Lichenophanes bicornis (Weber) 1 1
10 Acmaeodera tubulus (Fabricius) 1
11 Actenodes acornis (Say) 1
12 Agrilaxia flavimana (Gory) 2
13 Agrilus obsoletoguttatus Gory 1 1 1 2
14 Chrysobothris scitula Gory 2
15 Chrysobothris sexsignata (Say) 1
16 Xenorhipis brendeli LeConte 2 1
17 Mioptachys flavicauda (Say) 1 1 2 2 1
18 Astylopsis sexguttata (Say) 5
19 Curius dentatus Newman 2
20 Ecyrus dasycerus (Say) 9 2 3 8 1
21 Eupogonius pauper LeConte 1 1
22 Leptostylopsis planidorsus (LeConte) 2 1
23 Leptostylus transversus (Gyllenhal) 1 2
24 Lepturges angulatus (LeConte) 3
25 Lycochoriolaus lateralis (Olivier) 1
26 Methia necydalea (Fabricius) 1
27 Sternidius mimeticus (Casey) 1 1 1 1 5
28 Sternidius misellus (LeConte) 3 7
29 Sternidius punctatus Haldeman 1
30 Strangalia famelica Newman 1
31 Philothermus glabriculus LeConte 1
32 Orthocis longulus Dury 1
33 Orthocis punctatus (Mellie) 1 2
34 Orthocis transversatus (Kraus) 1 1
35 Chariessa pilosa (Forster) 1
36 Cymatodera wolcotti Barr 1
37 Neorthopleura thoracica (Say) 1
38 Arthrolips sp. 1 1
39 Clypastraea lunata (LeConte) 2
40 Holopsis sp. 1 1 2 1
41 Tenomerga cinerea (Say) 1
42 Acalles clavatus (Say) 2 1 2 3
Continued on next page
List of taxa and number of specimens collected from each ecoregion. Ecoregion designations are taken
from Daigle et al. (2006) (Table 1).
Appendix 1. Continued.
# Species
Level III Ecoregion
34 35 65 73 74 75
43 Acalles minutissimus (LeConte) 3 2 9 1 1
44 Cnestus mutilatus (Blandford) 22
45 Cophes fallax (LeConte) 2 2 1 2
46 Cophes oblongus (LeConte) 1 1 1
47 Cophes obtentus (Herbst) 2
48 Cyrtepistomus castaneus (Roelofs) 1
49 Dryophthorus americanus (Bedel) 2 6 1 5 7
50 Dryotribus mimeticus Horn 1
51 Hylocurus langstoni (Blackman) 1
52 Hypothenemus eruditus Westwood 42 2 7 126 85 8
53 Hypothenemus interstitialus (Hopkins) 1
54 Hypothenemus sersatus (Eichhoff) 3 4 1 3
55 Laemosaccus nephele (Herbst) 1
56 Micracis swainei Blackman 6
57 Micracisella nanula (LeConte) 2
58 Phloeotribus texanus Schaeffer 1 1
59 Pityophthorus annectens LeConte 8 5
60 Pityophthorus pulicarius (Zimmermann) 7 1
61 Pseudopityophthorus asperulus (LeConte) 2 26 41
62 Pseudopityophthorus minutissimus (Zimmermann) 1
63 Thysanoes cf pallens Wood 4 8 9 9 3
64 Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky) 1
65 Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford) 1
66 Idiotarsus errans (Horn) 2
67 Melanotus castanipes (Paykull) 1
68 Anamorphus waltoni Blatchley 7 2
69 Aphorista vittata (Fabricius) 2 1 2
70 Clemmus minor (Crotch) 12823610
71 Stenotarsus blatchleyi Walton 1 1
72 Adelothyreus dejeani Bonvouloir 1
73 Dromaeolus teres (Horn) 1 1 1
74 Isorhipis nubila (Bonvouloir) 1 5
75 Microrhagus audax Horn 1
76 Nematodes atropos Say 1
77 Aeletes simplex (LeConte) 1 3
78 Bacanius (misellus LeConte) 1
79 Bacanius punctiformis (LeConte) 2 2 3 5
80 Epierus pulicarius Erichson 2 1 2
81 Paromalus seminulum Erichson 1
82 Platysoma leconti Marseul 1
83 Narthecius grandiceps LeConte 1
84 Microscapha clavicornis LeConte 11
85 Chaetocoelus setosus LeConte 1
86 Glipostenoda ambusta (LeConte) 2
87 Mordella sp. 2
88 Mordellidae sp. 2
89 Stelidota octomaculata (Say) 1
Continued on next page
Appendix 1. Continued.
# Species
Level III Ecoregion
34 35 65 73 74 75
90 Ochrolitus rubens (LeConte) 1 1
91 Pteryx sp. 1 1
92 Ptilodactyla angustata Horn 1
93 Caenocara sp. 1
94 Calymmaderus nitidus (LeConte) 2 1
95 Cryptorama confusum White 1 4
96 Euceratocerus grandis White 3 1
97 Petalium sp. 1 4 2 1
98 Priobium sericeum (Say) 1
99 Tricorynus sp. 1 1 1
100 Inopeplus immundus Reitter 1
101 Silvanus muticus Sharp 1
102 Anotylus sp. 1
103 Athetini sp. 3 1 4
104 Belonuchus rufipennis (Fabricius) 4 1
105 Coproporus sp. 1
106 Dalmosella tenuis Casey 2 1
107 Edaphus americanus Puthz 1
108 Euconnus sp. 1 1 1
109 Eumicrota sp. 1
110 Eusphalerum sp. 1
111 Hesperus apicialis (Say) 2 2
112 Myrmecocephalus cingulatus (LeConte) 2
113 Pycnoglypta fracta (Casey) 4 1
114 Scydmaenidae sp. 1
115 Thinocharis sp. 1
116 Thoracophorus costalis (Erichson) 8 12 12 10 8 11
117 Toxidium gammaroides LeConte 1
118 Isomira pulla (Melsheimer) 1
119 Platydema cyanescens Laporte and Brullé 1
120 Platydema flavipes (Fabricius) 1
121 Platydema ruficorne (Stürm) 1
122 Platydema sp. 1
123 Uloma mentalis Horn 1 1
124 Aulonothroscus convergens (Horn) 7 8 12 1 13 3
125 Throscidae sp. 1
126 Endeitoma granulata (Say) 1
127 Paha laticollis (LeConte) 1
128 Pycnomerus sulcicollis (Germar) 1
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Survey of Twig-Inhabiting Coleoptera in Louisiana, USA
Author(s): Michael L. Ferro and Nhu H. Nguyen
Source: The Coleopterists Bulletin, 70(3):551-558.
Published By: The Coleopterists Society
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One-hundred thirty-five taxa (130 identified to species), in at least 97 genera, of weevils (superfamily Curculionoidea) were documented during a 21-year field survey (1998-2018) of the George Washington Memorial Parkway national park site that spans parts of Fairfax and Arlington Counties in Virginia. Twenty-three species documented from the parkway are first records for the state. Of the nine capture methods used during the survey, Malaise traps were the most successful. Periods of adult activity, based on dates of capture, are given for each species. Relative abundance is noted for each species based on the number of captures. Sixteen species adventive to North America are documented from the parkway, including three species documented for the first time in the state. Range extensions are documented for two species. Images of five species new to Virginia are provided.
In tropical forests, twigs are the nesting resources most frequently occupied by ants in the leaf litter. During occupation, this resource may be shared among different arthropods, such as ants or non-ant arthropods, but the mechanisms that promote cohabitation in this context are poorly known. In this study, we examined if twig structure influences species cohabitation. Additionally, we calculated co-occurrence and niche overlap metrics for ant species and non-ant arthropods occupying the same twigs in the leaf litter. We collected 52 species of ants and 82 morphospecies of non-ant arthropods inside 575 twigs from fragments of Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Thirty-six ant species cohabited with non-ant arthropods, which were primarily Isopoda and Coleoptera. We observed that the twigs most commonly shared by ants and non-ant arthropods were wider, longer, and had a larger number of holes. We also found that cohabiting ants and non-ant arthropods had higher co-occurrence and niche overlap scores. We suggest that twig diameter is an important factor determining occupation by ants and other arthropods. When the twig is occupied by more than one ant species, our results show that niche overlap and cohabitation with non-ant arthropods are less common. We conclude that examining twig structure is important to better understand arthropod species cohabitation in leaf litter twigs and to study coexistence in ant assemblages that use twigs.
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Coleoptera species composition and succession in downed woody debris habitats are poorly known in eastern North America. A photoeclector emergence chamber was used to concentrate Coleoptera that emerged from various decay classes of fine and coarse woody debris (FWD and CWD, respectively) collected in primary and secondary forest sites in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, USA. A total of 5673 adult beetle specimens, representing 305 lowest identifiable taxa within 227 genera and 51 families, was collected. One hundred fifteen species (38%) were represented by single individuals. Many more specimens and species were collected from CWD (4129 and 247, respectively) than from FWD (1544 and 162, respectively), but species richness accumulation curves were not significantly different. Many more specimens but an equal number of species were collected from primary forest (3347 and 207, respectively) than from secondary forest (2326 and 207, respectively). Species accumulation curves indicated higher richness in secondary forests. Based on a subset of 71 species represented by 10 or more specimens, 27 species were associated with fresh fine woody debris, 11 species with weathered fine woody debris, four with coarse woody debris decay class I, 14 with coarse woody debris decay class II, and eight with coarse woody debris decay class III–IV. Sixteen species were associated with secondary forests, whereas 28 species were associated with primary forests. Coarse woody debris decay class II taken in primary forests had highest absolute species richness with 156 species. In coarse woody debris species overlap decreased with increased difference in decay indicating faunal succession. Published works related to the study of the ecology of downed woody material are briefly summarized. Recommendations on developing a database of legacy trees for future researchers are given. Notes on the biology and photographs of the 71 species represented by 10 or more specimens are given to provide an atlas of eastern U.S. beetle species most commonly encountered in these habitats.
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Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important component of temperate stream and forest ecosystems. This chapter reviews the rates at which CWD is added and removed from ecosystems, the biomass found in streams and forests, and many functions that CWD serves. CWD is added to ecosystems by numerous mechanisms, including wind, fire, insect attack, pathogens, competition, and geomorphic processes. Despite the many long-term studies on tree mortality, there are few published rates of CWD input on mass-area-1 time-1 basis. CWD is significantly transformed physically and chemically. Movement of CWD, especially in streams, is also an important but poorly documented mechanism whereby CWD is lost from ecosystems. Many factors control the rate at which CWD decomposes, including temperature, moisture, internal gas composition of CWD, substrate quality, size of CWD, and types of organisms involved. However, the importance of many of these factors has yet to be established in field experiments. CWD performs many functions in ecosystems, serving as autotrophic and heterotrophic habitat and strongly influencing geomorphic processes, especially in streams. It is also a major component of nutrient cycles in many ecosystems and is an important functional component of stream and forest ecosystems.
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We conducted a study to explore which beetles utilize dead twigs in a Louisiana secondary forest and the effect of debris position on the beetle community. Twigs averaging 14 mm in diameter from one tree of Quercus falcata Michaux (southern red oak) were placed randomly into bundles of ten. At each of three sites, three bundles were laid on the ground, three were propped at the base of a living tree, and three were tied tightly above the ground against the branch of a living woody plant. The bundles were collected 10 months litter and each was placed into an emergence chamber. More than 400 adult Coleoptera specimens were collected, representing 35 species within 16 families. Cerambycidae (longhorn beetles) and Curculionidae (weevils) exhibited the highest species richness, with nine and five species, respectively. Species richness was significantly different among treatments. Bundles placed on the ground had the lowest richness, aboveground bundles had the highest, and propped bundles were intermediate. Twelve species (34%) were represented by singletons.
The anthribid genus Holostilpna Jordan was described with Chroagus nitens Leconte as type species. Jordan's specimens of nitens were misidentified; he had in hand an undescribed species of Euxenus Leconte, here named Euxenus jordani, n.sp. Holostilpna Jordan, with Euxenus jordani, n.sp. as type species (= Coragus nitens, Jordan, not Leconte) becomes a subjective synonym of Euxenus Leconte, type species Euxenus punctatus Leconte. The true Choragus nitens Leconte is transferred to Pseudochragus Petri, NEW COMBINATION, a genus previiously known only from western Europe. Euxenus punctatus, E. jordani, and Pseudochoragus nitens are described and/or illustrated, and a key to Nearctic Euxenus is presented. All literature references to Leconte's Choragus nitens, including Anderson's description of the larvae, are based on Euxenus jordani.
A study was conducted to explore the effect of season on colonization of dead twigs by beetles in a Louisiana secondary forest. Previous research showed that twigs cut during spring yielded many specimens and species. The present companion study utilized twigs averaging 14 mm in diameter cut from one tree of Quercus falcata Michaux (southern red oak) during fall (October) 2008, placed in bundles of 10 each, and left in the forest at three sites. Half the bundles were retrieved during winter (January, four months later) and the other half were retrieved during summer (July, nine months later). Coleoptera were collected from bundles using emergence chambers. Only 39 specimens of adult Coleoptera were collected, representing 12 families, 20 genera, and 21 species. Beetle colonization of oak twigs in Louisiana appears to be affected by the interaction of season and twig “quality” (apparently freshness) with the highest colonization taking place in fresh, dead twigs during spring and an order of magnitude lower colonization in 1) fresh twigs during fall or 2) stale twigs during spring and summer.