Eur. J. Entomol. 112 (1): 41-48, 2015 | 10.14411/eje.2015.002

Aestivo-hibernation of Coccinella septempunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in a mountainous area in southern Turkey: Is dormancy at high altitudes adaptive?

Özlem GÜVEN1, Hasan GÖLLÜOĞLU1, Piotr CERYNGIER2
1 Biology Department, Kahramanmaraş Sütçü Imam University, Kahramanmaraş, 46100, Turkey; e-mails: okalkar@hotmail.com; h_golluoglu@hotmail.com
2 Faculty of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyñski University, Wóycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland; e-mail: p.ceryngier@uksw.edu.pl

Each year huge numbers of adults of Coccinella septempunctata occupy aestivo-hibernation sites on Uludaz Hill, Çimen Mountain in the Kahramanmaraş Province of Turkey. In 2008 and 2009 we investigated the phenology, population dynamics, mortality and natural enemies of C. septempunctata arriving on Uludaz Hill. Samples were collected once a month during the snow-free season (April-November) from the top of the hill (2273 m a.s.l.) and at two lower altitudes (1900 m a.s.l. and 2050 m a.s.l.) on the slopes of the hill. In both years C. septempunctata was clearly more abundant at the top of the hill than at the two lower altitudes, which is in accordance with the hypothesis that beetles migrating to dormancy sites are strongly attracted to sites at the highest altitudes. Numbers of C. septempunctata on the hill were low in April and May. The large increase in abundance recorded in June may be attributed to the arrival of a new generation from lowland breeding sites. Emergence of previous year colonizers from their winter shelters is less probable due to the high fat content of the beetles collected in June. Spring dispersal from the hill to lowland areas was not observed. We suppose that this dispersal was either prevented by low temperature or considerably delayed and not synchronized with the period of ladybird breeding activity in the surrounding lowlands. In addition, the C. septempunctata aestivo-hibernating on Uludaz Hill suffered very high mortality, mainly caused by entomopathogenic fungi of the genus Beauveria. The results of our study are discussed in terms of the ecological trap concept.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Coccinellidae, Coccinella septempunctata, dormancy, ecological trap, Beauveria, Dinocampus coccinellae, Turkey

Received: May 28, 2014; Accepted: July 30, 2014; Prepublished online: October 15, 2014; Published: January 25, 2015

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