Zoological Studies

Vol. 51 No. 4, 2012

Attractiveness of Different Bait to the Scarabaeinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in Forest Fragments in Extreme Southern Brazil

Pedro Giovâni da Silva1,*, Fernando Z. Vaz-de-Mello2, and Rocco Alfredo Di Mare1

1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biodiversidade Animal, Univ. Federal de Santa Maria, Avenida Roraima, 1000, Camobi, CEP 97105- 900, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
2Instituto de Biociências, Departamento de Biologia e Zoologia, Univ. Federal de Mato Grosso, Avenida Fernando Corrêa da Costa, 2367, Boa Esperança, CEP 78060-900, Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil

Pedro Giovâni da Silva, Fernando Z. Vaz-de-Mello, and Rocco Alfredo Di Mare (2012) The aim of this study was to investigate the attractiveness of different types of bait to the Scarabaeinae. Scarabaeinae fauna was sampled using pitfall traps in 3 forest fragments of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, between May 2009 and Apr. 2010. Each habitat received 27 traps placed on 3 transects, each containing 3 sets of 3 traps, respectively baited with human excrement, rotten meat, and rotten banana. Of the total number of species and individuals collected, 33 species and 75.02% of individuals were attracted to human excrement, 29 species and 20.26% of individuals to meat, and only 25 species and 4.72% of individuals to the banana. Kruskal-Wallis tests showed significant statistical differences among the mean species richness (H = 20.65, d.f. = 2, p < 0.01) and abundance (H = 21.56, d.f. = 2, p < 0.01) of beetles attracted to each bait type. An ordination analysis showed the formation of different groups according to feeding habits and trophic niche overlap. According to Levins’ index, 14 species were coprophagous, 13 were generalists, and 2 necrophagous. Differences found occurred due to the great change in dung beetle assemblages from each type of baited trap during the study period. In this study, human feces was the most attractive bait, differing significantly from carrion and rotten banana in both species richness and abundance of the Scarabaeinae.

Key words: Dung beetles, Trophic guild, Coprophagy, Necrophagy, Saprophagy.

*Correspondence: E-mail:pedrogiovanidasilva@yahoo.com.br