Microhabitat segregation and physiological differences in co-occurring tiger beetle species, Cicindela oregona and Cicindela tranquebarica

  • Schultz T
  • Hadley N
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The daily movements of two co-occurring tiger beetle species were monitored in conjunction with changes in microclimate along streams in Northeast Arizona. Cicindela oregona and C. tranquebarica temporarily segregated across areas of beach exhibiting different microclimates. C. oregona progressively moved from the dry upper beach to the wet stream edge as beach temperatures increased and humidity decreased. They actively foraged throughout the day in this moist habitat at air temperatures between 25 and 38° C. C. tranquebarica remained on the dry, upper portions of the beach and shuttled between sun and shade at air temperatures above 35° C. Only when stream edge temperatures exceeded 30° C was tranquebarica found in this subhabitat. Both species exhibited physiological tolerances in the laboratory that were consistent with their microhabitat preferences in the field. Although both species had similar high lethal temperatures (47-48° C) in saturated air, oregona died at lower temperatures (39-43° C) than tranquebarica (46-47° C) under dry (0% RH) conditions. C. oregona was considerably more active than tranquebarica at body temperatures below 30° C and exhibited higher levels of active metabolism between 25 and 40° C. In addition, C. tranquebarica exhibited significantly lower water loss rates than oregona at 30, 35 and 40° C.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Habitat segregation
  • Thermal resources
  • Tiger beetles
  • Water loss rate

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  • T. D. Schultz

  • N. F. Hadley

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