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Dung beetle

Harald F Parzer, P David Polly, Armin P Moczek
Insects show relatively little genital variation within species compared to extraordinary and often rapid diversification among species. It has been suggested that selection for reproductive isolation through differences in genital shape might explain this phenomenon. This hypothesis predicts that populations diverge faster in genital shape than in genital size. We tested this prediction in males from 10 dung beetle species with known phylogenetic relationships from the genus Onthophagus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), including four species for which we were able to sample multiple populations...
February 8, 2018: Development Genes and Evolution
Victor M Alves, Malva I M Hernandez, Jorge M Lobo
Strategies to deal with global radiation may be related to important aspects of species biology and ecology by reflecting, transmitting or absorbing the radiation of varying wavelengths differently. The elytra capacity to manage infrared, visible and ultraviolet radiations (from 185 to 1400 nm) was assessed with a spectrophotometric analysis in five Canthon species of dung beetles; we calculated the reflectance, transmittance, and absorbance capacity of the elytra of these species. These species have different ecologies: two species preferentially inhabit forest areas (Canthon angularis and Canthon lividus lividus), two species preferentially inhabit open areas (Canthon chalybaeus and Canthon tetraodon) including agricultural crops, and one species does not present a clear habitat preference and can be found in both habitats (Canthon quinquemaculatus)...
January 25, 2018: Photochemistry and Photobiology
Sergei Tarasov
Two Oriental dung beetle genera: Parachorius Harold, 1873 and Cassolus Sharp, 1875 have long had an ambiguous tribal position in Scarabaeinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), but have never been considered as closely related. A recently discovered species representing the morphological link between the two genera gave a hint to their possible close affiliation. To assess phylogenetic and taxonomic placement of these genera, I conducted phylogenetic analyses of global dung beetle samples using morphological (134 taxa, 232 characters) and molecular (551 terminals, 8 gene regions) data...
October 3, 2017: Zootaxa
V C Giménez Gómez, S B Lomáscolo, G A Zurita, F Ocampo
Tolerance to extreme temperatures, thermal limits, and the mechanisms of thermoregulation are related to internal functions of insects and partly define their ecological niche. We study the association between daily activity of dung beetles from the Monte Desert in Argentina and their tolerance to high temperatures. Results indicate that for all three sympatric species studied, Eucranium belenae Ocampo, Anomiopsoides cavifrons (Burmeister), and Anomiopsoides fedemariai Ocampo, daily activity is associated to ground temperature...
December 6, 2017: Neotropical Entomology
Lily Johanna Toro Segovia, Germán Alberto Téllez Ramírez, Diana Carolina Henao Arias, Juan David Rivera Duran, Juan Pablo Bedoya, Jhon Carlos Castaño Osorio
Dung beetles are exposed to a complex microbiological ecosystem during their life cycle. Characterization of novel host-defense peptides (HDP) is essential to understanding the host innate immune response in insects. It constitutes a promising alternative to look for new therapeutic agents against pathogenic microbes. We identified four new HDP, Oxysterlins 1, 2, 3, and 4 from the transcriptome of the Oxysternon conspicillatum dung beetle. These HDP display a highly conserved signal peptide and a mature peptide, characterized by an overall positive charge (cationic) (pI: 10...
2017: PloS One
I Szelecz, N Feddern, C V W Seppey, J Amendt, E A D Mitchell
In forensic science, the use of entomological evidence to estimate the minimum post-mortem interval can be crucial. However, not all cadaver-visiting insects are equally useful. Our focus is on the histerid beetle Saprinus semistriatus (Scriba 1790) (Histeridae; Coleoptera). Histeridae are common predators that feed mainly on dipteran larvae on carrion and dung. We review 23 publications mentioning this species and provide new experimental data on its temporal pattern beneath and on hanging pig cadavers. In a field experiment near Neuchâtel, Switzerland, we recorded the abundance of S...
November 10, 2017: Legal Medicine
Marcelo B Pessôa, Thiago J Izzo, Fernando Z Vaz-de-Mello
The Pantanal is one of the world's largest tropical wetland areas and harbors high mammal biomass. There is no formal list of dung beetle species, and studies on their functional roles have never being carried out in Pantanal. In this study, we identified dung beetle species occurring in the north Pantanal region (Poconé sub-region, Brazil) and studied their functional organization, by measuring morphological, behavioral and phenological traits. We collected 25,278 individuals belonging to 17 genera and 35 species...
2017: PeerJ
José R Verdú, Jorge M Lobo, Francisco Sánchez-Piñero, Belén Gallego, Catherine Numa, Jean-Pierre Lumaret, Vieyle Cortez, Antonio J Ortiz, Mattia Tonelli, Juan P García-Teba, Ana Rey, Alexandra Rodríguez, Jorge Durán
Ivermectin is the most common endectocide used to control parasites affecting livestock. Short-term physiological and behavioural effects of ivermectin on dung beetles may have long-term consequences for beetle populations and ecosystem functioning. Long-term effects of the use of ivermectin can be estimated by comparing dung assemblages and ecosystem functions in areas with conventional ivermectin-treated livestock and environmentally similar areas in which livestock are not treated with veterinary medical products (organic farming)...
November 9, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
Irene Piccini, Beatrice Nervo, Mattias Forshage, Luisella Celi, Claudia Palestrini, Antonio Rolando, Tomas Roslin
Rapid biodiversity loss has emphasized the need to understand how biodiversity affects the provisioning of ecological functions. Of particular interest are species and communities with versatile impacts on multiple parts of the environment, linking processes in the biosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere to human interests in the anthroposphere (in this case, cattle farming). In this study, we examine the role of a specific group of insects - beetles feeding on cattle dung - on multiple ecological functions spanning these spheres (dung removal, soil nutrient content and greenhouse gas emissions)...
October 22, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
Victor Michelon Alves, Malva Isabel Medina Hernández
The effects of transgenic compounds on non-target organisms remain poorly understood, especially in native insect species. Morphological changes (e.g., changes in body size and shape) may reflect possible responses to environmental stressors, like transgenic toxins. The dung beetle Canthon quinquemaculatus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) is a non-target species found in transgenic crops. We evaluated whether C. quinquemaculatus individuals inhabiting corn fields cultivated with different seed types (conventional, creole and transgenic) present modifications in body shape compared to individuals inhabiting adjacent native forest fragments...
October 21, 2017: Insects
Mingxia Sun, Esther Appel, Alexander Kovalev, Elena V Gorb, Aiping Liang, Stanislav N Gorb
The elytral surface of dung beetles is generally accepted to be self-cleaning due to its anti-adhesive properties. In this article, the wettability and adhesive properties of elytral surface (intact and treated with Acetone and Ethanol) of the beetle Geotrupes stercorarius were characterized. Since these properties are influenced by the surface structure and chemistry, the micro- and nanostructure of the elytra were observed using scanning electron microscopy and the surface roughness were estimated with white light interferometery, whereas the water contact angle (CA) and adhesion force of the elytra were evaluated using contact angle measurement device and force transducer, respectively...
October 24, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Elizabeth Nichols, Viviana Alarcón, Shaun Forgie, Luis A Gomez-Puerta, Matthew S Jones
A diversity of macro- and microparasitic species exert strong influences on wildlife population density, community structure, and ecosystem functioning, all through their impacts on individual host fitness. Through consuming, manipulating, and relocating wildlife feces, over 7,000 species of coprophagous dung beetles interact with a staggering diversity of wildlife parasites with fecal-oral transmission in ways that both increase and decrease transmission. Here, we review the mechanisms by which dung beetles influence micro- and macroparasite transmission and outline a future research framework that integrates theory and empirical insights to advance our understanding of how these relationships may interact with ongoing environmental change drivers to further influence wildlife populations and community structure...
September 28, 2017: ILAR Journal
Mauro Galetti, Marcos Moleón, Pedro Jordano, Mathias M Pires, Paulo R Guimarães, Thomas Pape, Elizabeth Nichols, Dennis Hansen, Jens M Olesen, Michael Munk, Jacqueline S de Mattos, Andreas H Schweiger, Norman Owen-Smith, Christopher N Johnson, Robert J Marquis, Jens-Christian Svenning
For hundreds of millions of years, large vertebrates (megafauna) have inhabited most of the ecosystems on our planet. During the late Quaternary, notably during the Late Pleistocene and the early Holocene, Earth experienced a rapid extinction of large, terrestrial vertebrates. While much attention has been paid to understanding the causes of this massive megafauna extinction, less attention has been given to understanding the impacts of loss of megafauna on other organisms with whom they interacted. In this review, we discuss how the loss of megafauna disrupted and reshaped ecological interactions, and explore the ecological consequences of the ongoing decline of large vertebrates...
October 9, 2017: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Gregory T Sullivan, Sebahat K Ozman-Sullivan, Jean-Pierre Lumaret, Anne Bourne, Unal Zeybekoglu, Myron P Zalucki, Greg Baxter
Succession in local dung beetle assemblages influences their delivery of ecological functions in natural and modified environments globally. Short-term changes in dung beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) species richness, abundance, and biomass were investigated in standardized dung pads in northern, coastal Turkey. For mean tunneling guild abundance, dung deposition time, dung exposure period, and their interaction were significant, and for mean dung dwelling guild abundance, dung exposure period was significant, as was the interaction with dung deposition time, which collectively evidenced temporal resource partitioning, based principally on differences in diel activity...
October 1, 2017: Environmental Entomology
Oliver M Beckers, Teiya Kijimoto, Armin P Moczek
Despite sharing nearly the same genome, individuals within the same species can vary drastically in both morphology and behaviour as a function of developmental stage, sex or developmental plasticity. Thus, regulatory processes must exist that enable the stage-, sex- or environment-specific expression of traits and their integration during ontogeny, yet exactly how trait complexes are co-regulated and integrated is poorly understood. In this study, we explore the developmental genetic basis of the regulation and integration of environment-dependent sexual dimorphism in behaviour and morphology in the horn-polyphenic dung beetle Onthophagus taurus through the experimental manipulation of the transcription factor doublesex (dsx)...
October 2017: Animal Behaviour
Kevin Frank, Adrian Brückner, Andrea Hilpert, Michael Heethoff, Nico Blüthgen
At the basis of a trophic web, coprophagous animals like dung beetles (Scarabaeoidea) utilize resources that may have advantages (easy gain and handling) as well as drawbacks (formerly processed food). Several studies have characterized the nutrients, e.g. C/N ratios and organic matter content, for specific types of dung. However, a comparative approach across dung types and feeding guilds of dung producers, and relationships between dung nutrients and preferences by coprophages, have been missing. Hence, we analyzed water content, C/N ratio, amino acid, neutral lipid fatty acid, free fatty acid and sterol composition and concentrations in dung from 23 vertebrates, including carnivore, omnivore and herbivore species...
September 22, 2017: Scientific Reports
Sheila C Ferreira, Rocco A DI Mare, Pedro G DA Silva
The dung beetle, Scybalocanthon nigriceps (Harold, 1868), is recorded in Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, for the first time, at the Moreno Fortes Biological Reserve, municipality of Dois Irmãos das Missões, northwest region of the state, expanding the area of occurrence and distribution of this species in the country.
July 2017: Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
Paul Manning, Sarah A Beynon, Owen T Lewis
Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) support numerous ecosystem functions in livestock-grazed pastures. Exposure to veterinary anthelmintic residues in livestock dung can have lethal and sublethal effects on dung beetles, and can reduce rates of dung removal, but the immediate and longer-term consequences for other dung beetle mediated functions have rarely been studied. We investigated the consequences of anthelmintic exposure on survival of the dung beetle Aphodius fossor and its delivery of four ecosystems functions that underpin pasture production: dung removal, soil fauna feeding activity, primary productivity, and reduction of soil compaction...
2017: PloS One
Eleanor M Slade, Laura Kirwan, Thomas Bell, Christopher D Philipson, Owen T Lewis, Tomas Roslin
Studies investigating how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning increasingly focus on multiple functions measured simultaneously ("multifunctionality"). However, few such studies assess the role of species interactions, particularly under alternative environmental scenarios, despite interactions being key to ecosystem functioning. Here we address five questions of central importance to ecosystem multifunctionality using a terrestrial animal system. (1) Does the contribution of individual species differ for different ecosystem functions? (2) Do inter-species interactions affect the delivery of single functions and multiple functions? (3) Does the community composition that maximizes individual functions also maximize multifunctionality? (4) Is the functional role of individual species, and the effect of interspecific interactions, modified by changing environmental conditions? (5) How do these roles and interactions change under varying scenarios where ecosystem services are weighted to reflect different societal preferences? We manipulated species' relative abundance in dung beetle communities and measured 16 functions contributing to dung decomposition, plant productivity, nutrient recycling, reduction of greenhouse gases, and microbial activity...
October 2017: Ecology
Irene Piccini, Fabrizio Arnieri, Enrico Caprio, Beatrice Nervo, Simone Pelissetti, Claudia Palestrini, Tomas Roslin, Antonio Rolando
Cattle farming is a major source of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Recent research suggests that GHG fluxes from dung pats could be affected by biotic interactions involving dung beetles. Whether and how these effects vary among beetle species and with assemblage composition is yet to be established. To examine the link between GHGs and different dung beetle species assemblages, we used a closed chamber system to measure fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from cattle dung pats. Targeting a total of four dung beetle species (a pat-dwelling species, a roller of dung balls, a large and a small tunnelling species), we ran six experimental treatments (four monospecific and two mixed) and two controls (one with dung but without beetles, and one with neither dung nor beetles)...
2017: PloS One
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