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1 December 2008 Consumption of Gustavia hexapetala (Aublet) Smith (Lecythidales: Lecythidaceae) by the Dung Beetle Eurysternus plebejus Harold (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)
Jorge Ari Noriega A, Juan Cristóbal Calle
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Abstract

One of the distinctive aspects of members of the Scarabaeidae family is the use of mammal dung as a food source, although some species may use other resources. One of the most interesting variations is the association with fruits and flowers of the genus Gustavia of the family Lecythidaceae. Eurysternus plebejus Harold individuals were discovered feeding on the decaying petals of Gustavia hexapetala (Aublet) Smith, an association unknown until now. It was not possible to confirm the use of petals as a resource for constructing nest-balls. Eurysternus plebejus is attracted to other sources of food such as mammal dung and carrion, so it appears to be a facultative generalist species that can use a wide range of available food sources. The petals of G. hexapetala constitute an additional food source that is less ephemeral than dung and an excellent alternative given to its coexistence with a high number of species in the area. A detailed study of E. plebejus using petals and a morphological study of its digestive tract, in order to confirm the pattern described for its nesting are recommended. Continuing to search for new food sources in assemblages with strong competition pressures is equally important.

Jorge Ari Noriega A and Juan Cristóbal Calle "Consumption of Gustavia hexapetala (Aublet) Smith (Lecythidales: Lecythidaceae) by the Dung Beetle Eurysternus plebejus Harold (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)," The Coleopterists Bulletin 62(4), 455-460, (1 December 2008). https://doi.org/10.1649/1091.1
Received: 24 January 2008; Accepted: 1 May 2008; Published: 1 December 2008
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