Escarabajos coprófagos (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) de la vertiente voroccidental, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia


Neotropical Entomology




The community structure of dung beetles in the middle and lower river basin of the Gaira river, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, is described. Four sites were selected along an altitudinal gradient of 50-940 m for sampling from June to October, 2004. Dung beetles were captured using modified pitfall traps and manual recollections. We captured 7,872 individuals belonging to 29 species, distributed in 15 genera and five tribes of Scarabaeinae. Canthon and Onthophagus were the most diverse genera, each represented by six species. The sampled sites shared the following species: Onthophagus acuminatus Harold, O. clypeatus Blanchard, O. marginicollis Harold. Bocatoma was the most diverse site with 23 species; whereas Port Mosquito presented the highest abundance, with 3,262 individuals. Seven species represented 89% of all captures: Canthidium sp., Dichotomius sp., Uroxys sp. 1, Uroxys sp. 2, O. marginicollis, O. clypeatus and O. acuminatus. Of the 29 captured species, 17 belonged to the functional group of diggers and 10 were ball-rollers. We did not observe significant among-site differences in community structure. Abiotic factors such as altitude, temperature and humidity cannot explain observed variation in community structure across sites, indicating other variables such as vegetation cover, density of the vegetation and soil type may play a role in the community structure of these insects.

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