Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (4): 649-656, 2013 | 10.14411/eje.2013.088

Patterns in diurnal co-occurrence in an assemblage of hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae)

Manuela D'AMEN*,1,2, Daniele BIRTELE2, Livia ZAPPONI1,2, Sönke HARDERSEN2
1 National Research Council, IBAF Department, Monterotondo Scalo, Rome, Italy; e-mails: manuela.damen@ibaf.cnr.it; livia.zapponi@ibaf.cnr.it
2 Corpo Forestale dello Stato, Centro Nazionale BiodiversitL Forestale "Bosco Fontana", Verona, Italy; e-mails: entomologiacfs@libero.it; s.hardersen@gmail.com

In this study we analyzed the inter-specific relationships in assemblages of syrphids at a site in northern Italy in order to determine whether there are patterns in diurnal co-occurrence. We adopted a null model approach and calculated two co-occurrence metrics, the C-score and variance ratio (V-ratio), both for the total catch and of the morning (8:00-13:00) and afternoon (13:00-18:00) catches separately, and for males and females. We recorded discordant species richness, abundance and co-occurrence patterns in the samples collected. Higher species richness and abundance were recorded in the morning, when the assemblage had an aggregated structure, which agrees with previous findings on communities of invertebrate primary consumers. A segregated pattern of co-occurrence was recorded in the afternoon, when fewer species and individuals were collected. The pattern recorded is likely to be caused by a number of factors, such as a greater availability of food in the morning, prevalence of hot and dry conditions in the early afternoon, which are unfavourable for hoverflies, and possibly competition with other pollinators. Our results indicate that restricting community studies to a particular time of day will result in certain species and/or species interactions not being recorded.

Keywords: Diptera, Syrphidae, hoverflies, temporal structure, interspecific relations, null models

Received: January 22, 2013; Accepted: July 1, 2013; Prepublished online: October 1, 2013; Published: December 1, 2013

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