Eur. J. Entomol. 109 (1): 71-76, 2012 | 10.14411/eje.2012.009

Survival of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) submerged during floods: Field and laboratory studies

Felix N. KOLESNIKOV1, Arevik N. KARAMYAN2, W. Wyatt HOBACK3
1 Bryansk State Agricultural Academy, Kokino, Vigonichy district, Bryansk region, 243365, Russian Federation; e-mail: f.kolesnikov@mail.ru
2 Yerevan State University, Alex Manoogian Street 1, Yerevan 375049, Republic of Armenia
3 University of Nebraska at Kearney, 905 West 25 th Street, Kearney, Nebraska, 68849, USA

Field and laboratory experiments were conducted to assess the time ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) survive during actual and simulated flood conditions. The effects of three variants of potential flood conditions were tested: (1) beetles trapped on the surface of flood water; (2) beetles trapped in air pockets; (3) submersion of beetles in flood water without access to air. Ground beetles trapped on the surface of water survived more than two weeks (Carabus granulatus - up to 16 days; Oxypselaphus obscurus - up to 22 days). Carabus granulatus in simulated hibernation chambers that had air-pockets also survived for 15 days. The time for which ground beetles submerged without access to air survived differed significantly among species and was affected by season. They survived longest in mid-spring and late-autumn when water temperature is low. In mid-spring, survival times for C. granulatus and Platynus assimilis were 12 days and 9 days, respectively. During late summer and early autumn all species survived for a shorter period of time. In August, at least half of the individuals tested were dead after three days of immersion (water temperature 16-18C). Removal of both of the elytra of adult of C. granulatus resulted in them surviving immersion for a shorter period, which indicates that air stored in the sub-elytral cavity is used to prolong the period they can survive immersion. The results of these experiments broaden the knowledge of how adult beetles survive seasonal flooding and are able to persist in floodplain habitats.

Keywords: Carabidae, survival time, submergence, flooding, hypoxic conditions

Received: May 19, 2011; Accepted: September 23, 2011; Published: January 3, 2012

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