The nocturnal American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus Olivier, 1790; Silphidae), once widely distributed in the eastern United States, is currently listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The factors driving its decline remain largely unknown. Curiously, a closely related and ecologically similar burying beetle, the roundneck burying beetle (Nicrophorus orbicollis Say, 1825), remains abundant and widespread. We used two sets of trapping data from Nebraska and Oklahoma, USA to examine the effects of moon phase and weather on capture rates of the two species. We found that on nights with few clouds, increasing moonlight levels reduced captures of American burying beetles in baited pitfall traps at both sites. In Nebraska, cloud cover reversed the association between moon phase and capture rate (regression line slope became slightly positive). In contrast, in Oklahoma fewer American burying beetles were caught on cloudy nights for all moon phases. We hypothesize this to be a result of amplification of skyglow from the nearby city of McAlester. The number of roundneck burying beetles captured was not associated with moonlight levels or cloud cover in Oklahoma. Together, these data suggest that natural nighttime lighting affects activity of these two closely related species differently.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 71 • No. 2