Scale-dependent habitat selection by the darkling beetle Eleodes hispilabris (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

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Habitat selection in the darkling beetle Eleodes hispilabris Say (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) on the shortgrass prairie of the central United States was nonrandom at both a broad (km2) and a fine (cm2) scale, relative to the abundance of broadly defined habitat types and, within these, microhabitats. On a broad habitat scale, darkling beetles were more numerous and had longer residence times (as assessed by recapture rates) in shrub floodplains than in shortgrass uplands. On a microhabitat scale, beetles used patches of vegetative detritus more and bare ground areas less than expected, based upon the availability of these microhabitats. Broad-scale patterns of habitat selection may reflect microhabitat preferences, as shrub floodplains possessed relatively more vegetative detritus (a darkling beetle food source) than did shortgrass uplands. Such an ability to explain how a phenomenon at one scale affects a pattern at another scale will allow for patterns of habitat selection across multiple scales to be predicted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1997


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