Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) associated with cattle dung on native grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada.

Floate, K.D. and Kadiri, N. (2013). "Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) associated with cattle dung on native grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada.", The Canadian Entomologist, 145(6), pp. 647-654. doi : 10.4039/tce.2013.50  Access to full text

Abstract

Surveys of dung beetles establish the dominance of exotic taxa associated with cattle dung on native grasslands in southern Alberta, Canada. Of the 12 species recovered, eight were of European origin and comprised 92.2% of the total catch of 187 963 beetles. Most common were Chilothorax distinctus (Müller), Onthophagus nuchicornis(Linnaeus), and Colobopterus erraticus (Linnaeus) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The abundance of C. distinctus has been known in the region since the 1920s, whereas that of O. nuchicornis only was first reported in the 1990s. The abundance of C. erraticus has not previously been observed in the region and identifies the species as the newest addition to the endemic fauna. The diversity of native species on pastures in southern Canada and adjacent states is depauperate, such that the establishment of European taxa has appreciably increased levels of bioturbation in pasture ecosystems. The success of these exotic species on northern pastures may reflect a level of cold-tolerance greater than that of most native species.

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