Distribution and feeding behavior of Omorgus suberosus (Coleoptera: Trogidae) in Lepidochelys olivacea turtle nests

Baena, Martha L., Escobar, Federico, Halffter, Gonzalo, and García–Chávez, Juan H. (2015) Distribution and feeding behavior of Omorgus suberosus (Coleoptera: Trogidae) in Lepidochelys olivacea turtle nests. PLoS ONE, 10 (9). e0139538.

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Abstract

Omorgus suberosus (Fabricius, 1775) has been identified as a potential predator of the eggs of the turtle Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829) on one of the main turtle nesting beaches in the world, La Escobilla in Oaxaca, Mexico. This study presents an analysis of the spatio–temporal distribution of the beetle on this beach (in areas of high and low density of L. olivacea nests over two arrival seasons) and an evaluation, under laboratory conditions, of the probability of damage to the turtle eggs by this beetle. O. suberosus adults and larvae exhibited an aggregated pattern at both turtle nest densities; however, aggregation was greater in areas of low nest density, where we found the highest proportion of damaged eggs. Also, there were fluctuations in the temporal distribution of the adult beetles following the arrival of the turtles on the beach. Under laboratory conditions, the beetles quickly damaged both dead eggs and a mixture of live and dead eggs, but were found to consume live eggs more slowly. This suggests that O. suberosus may be recycling organic material; however, its consumption of live eggs may be sufficient in some cases to interrupt the incubation period of the turtle. We intend to apply these results when making decisions regarding the L. olivacea nests on La Escobilla Beach, one of the most important sites for the conservation of this species.

Item ID: 44358
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
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© 2015 Baena et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

Funders: National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)
Projects and Grants: CONACYT 204950
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 02:36
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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