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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


JARAMILLO, EDUARDO; AVELLANAL, MARIA H; GONZALEZ, MARCIA  and  KENNEDY, FERGUS. Locomotor activity of Phalerisida maculata Kulzer (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae) on Chilean sandy beaches. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2000, vol.73, n.1, pp.67-77. ISSN 0716-078X.

The locomotor activity of the beetle Phalerisida maculata Kulzer (Coleoptera Tenebrionidae) was studied on the surface of the substrate in two sandy beaches of the Chilean coast: one in north central (ca. 29ºS) and the other in south central Chile (ca.39ºS). During the summer period of 1991 the circadian locomotor activity was studied in the southern beach, while during that of 1997 in both beaches. To analyze the activity, pitfall traps were used which were ordered along two transects extended between the upper beach and the resurgence zone. The traps were checked (i.e. collection of captured insects) every two hours for a total period of 26 hours. The results showed that the adults of P. maculata were mostly active during the night hours, whereas the larvae were active during both, the day and night. Studies carried out in the beach located in south central Chile show that differences in the tidal range (neap vs. spring tides) do not affect the activity patterns. During the locomotor activity, adult and larvae move to lower intertidal levels than those usually occupied while buried. Results of laboratory experiments using actographs under conditions of darkness and constant temperature, suggest that adults and larvae of P. maculata presented a circadian rhythm similar to that observed in the field experiments. It is concluded that P. maculata presents a behaviour that appear to be under control of an endogenous rhythm, without showing differences in the circadian rhythm of activity when beaches located at different latitudes are compared

Keywords : sandy beaches; Insecta; Coleoptera; locomotor activity.

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