Eur. J. Entomol. 113: 173-183, 2016 | 10.14411/eje.2016.021

Arthropod fauna recorded in flowers of apomictic Taraxacum section Ruderalia

Alois HONĚK1, Zdenka MARTINKOVÁ1, Jiří SKUHROVEC1,*, Miroslav BARTÁK2, Jan BEZDĚK3, Petr BOGUSCH4, Jiří HADRAVA5, Jiří HÁJEK6, Petr JANŠTA5, Josef JELÍNEK6, Jan KIRSCHNER7, Vítězslav KUBÁŇ6, Stano PEKÁR8, Pavel PRŮDEK9, Pavel ŠTYS5, Jan ŠUMPICH6
1 Crop Research Institute, Drnovska 507, CZ-161 06 Prague 6 - Ruzyně, Czech Republic; e-mails: honek@vurv.cz, martinkova@vurv.cz, jirislavskuhrovec@gmail.com
2 Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Department of Zoology and Fisheries, CZ-165 21 Prague 6 - Suchdol, Czech Republic; e-mail: bartak@af.czu.cz
3 Mendel University in Brno, Department of Zoology, Fisheries, Hydrobiology and Apiculture, Zemědělská 1, CZ-613 00 Brno, Czech Republic; e-mail: bezdek@mendelu.cz
4 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Hradec Králové, Rokitanského 62, CZ-500 03 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic; e-mail: bogusch.petr@gmail.com
5 Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Viničná 7, CZ-128 44 Prague 2, Czech Republic; e-mails: hadravajirka@seznam.cz; janstapetr@gmail.com, pavelstys@gmail.com
6 Department of Entomology, National museum, Cirkusová 1740, CZ-193 00 Prague 9 - Horní Počernice, Czech Republic; e-mails: jiri_hajek@nm.cz, JJ.Nitidula@seznam.cz, vkuban@nm.cz, jansumpich@seznam.cz
7 Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, CZ-252 43 Průhonice 1, Czech Republic; e-mail: jankirschner@ibot.cas.cz
8 Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, CZ-611 37 Brno, Czech Republic; e-mail: pekar@sci.muni.cz
9 Vackova 47, CZ-612 00 Brno, Czech Republic; e-mail: pavelprudek@seznam.cz

Flowers of dicotyledonous plants host communities of arthropod species. We studied the community associated with dandelion (Taraxacum section Ruderalia), a complex of apomictic micro-species abundant in central Europe. Identification of microspecies in the field was impracticable. These plants produce an abundance of flowers that host arthropod communities that are not yet fully documented. We investigated species occurrence, its diurnal and seasonal variation and some of the factors that determine the abundance of the dominant species. Insect and spiders were collected from 2010 to 2012 at a locality in Prague. Whole capitula were harvested at weekly intervals and resident arthropods were identified. Diurnal variation in insect presence and the effect of pollen and microclimate on some of the species were also examined. The insect community (> 200 species) consisted mainly of species of Hymenoptera (86 spp.), Coleoptera (56 spp.), Diptera (46 spp.) and Heteroptera (23 spp.). The most abundant were Thysanoptera (2 spp.). Pollen eaters/collectors and nectar feeders dominated over predators and occasional visitors. From April to mid-August, the insect community was dominated by Coleoptera, and later by Diptera and Hymenoptera. Except for Meligethes spp. and species breeding in the capitula, the insects occupied flowers during the daytime when the flowers were open (10-12 h in spring and only 2-4 h in late summer). The presence of Meligethes spp. in particular flowers was associated with the presence of pollen; the occurrence of Byturus ochraceus with pollen and flower temperature. Although pollination is not necessary, dandelion plants produce both nectar and pollen. The community of arthropods that visit dandelion flowers is rich despite their being ephemeral. The composition of local faunas of flower visitors, presence of floral rewards and flower microclimate are important factors determining the composition of the flower community.

Keywords: Arthropoda, Insecta, plant-herbivore interactions, abundance, annual variation, diurnal variation, host communities, pollen, flower temperature, Taraxacum

Received: October 12, 2015; Accepted: January 14, 2016; Published online: February 5, 2016

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