Wing Condition and Distribution Area Size in Wood-degrading Beetles (Passalidae)

In insects, the size of the species distribution areas is partly related with flight capacity, which depends on species wing condition, for instance flightless (brachypterous) vs flight species (macropterous). Here, we studied this relationship for the first time in Passalidae, a subsocial group of saproxylophagous beetles, using as a model the species of the Mesoamerican genus Oileus. We performed species distribution models to estimate biogeographic affinities among species, calculate the area of potential distribution and its relationship with wing condition. Additionally, we described a new species and the sound-emitting structures (plectrum, located on hind wings) for all Oileus species. As main result, macropterous species have larger potential distribution areas than brachypterous species, the latter tending to occupy small areas in mid and high mountain habitats; thus, supporting the idea that the loss of flight reduces dispersal capacity.

Read the full article, published by Zoological Studies, here

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