Bait preferences of Australian dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in tropical and subtropical Queensland forests

Ebert, K.M. and Monteith, G.B. and Menéndez, R. and Merritt, D.J. (2019) Bait preferences of Australian dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in tropical and subtropical Queensland forests. Austral Entomology, 58 (4). pp. 772-782. ISSN 2052-174X

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Abstract

Dung beetles (Scarabaeinae) are mainly coprophagous. Globally, many species co-exist with large mammalian fauna in grasslands and savannahs. However, tropical and subtropical rainforests, where large herbivorous mammals are scarce, support numerous dung beetle species. Many rainforest dung beetles have been shown to be generalist saprophages or specialists on non-dung food resources. In Australian rainforests, observations of native dung beetles have indicated that some species are attracted to other resources such as fruit or fungi, although the extent to which this occurs is not known. To learn more about the diet breadth of Australian native rainforest dung beetles, we assessed their attraction to a range of baits, including two types of dung, four types of carrion from both vertebrates and invertebrates, three types of rotting fruit and rotting mushrooms. We primarily surveyed rainforest sites but included two dry open-forest sites for comparisons. Of the two groups of Australian native dung beetles (Onthophagini and Australian endemic genera), the latter dominated the rainforest dung beetle fauna and were attracted to a greater variety of baits compared with Onthophagini. The Onthophagini were dominant in open forest and were more likely to be attracted to a particular bait type, primarily dung. Our findings suggest that many of the species belonging to the ‘Australian endemic genera’ are generalist feeders and their ability to utilise a range of food resources contributes to their abundance and diversity in Australian rainforests.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Austral Entomology
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ebert, K. M., Monteith, G. B., Menéndez, R., and Merritt, D. J. ( 2019) Bait preferences of Australian dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in tropical and subtropical Queensland forests. Austral Entomology, https://doi.org/10.1111/aen.12396 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/aen.12396 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1109
Subjects:
ID Code:
133963
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 Jun 2019 09:13
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
25 Sep 2020 04:24