Record Details

Pearson, D. L.;Anderson, J. J.
Perching heights and nocturnal communal roosts of some tiger beetles (Coleoptera, Cicindelidae) in southeastern Peru
Journal Article
animals invertebrates arthropods insects beetles tiger beetles Coleoptera Cicindelidae animal behavior Reserva Nacional Tambopata Parque Nacional Bahuaja-Sonene seasonality predation Madre de Dios Bibliography
Roosting and perching in insects is a behaviour pattern which is easy to observe and quantify in tropical forest habitats. This report presents data from observations of tiger-beetles made in the TRZ between September 1981 and August 1983. These observations can be compared with observations of perching and nocturnal rest described for other groups of insects in tropical forests. For example, the height of perching correlates with body size, a behavior pattern which has been attributed to search behavior for a limited resource; the frequently communal nocturnal roost of butterflies has been attributed to thermoregulation and protection against physical factors and predation. When tiger-beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) of diurnal activity are disturbed, they fly from their feeding site, in the undergrowth, to temporary perches where they remain for 10 to 15 minutes. The height of these perches correlates with the body size of the species, so the bigger ones use higher perching positions. At night, these Coleoptera rest for between 10 and 12 hours at the same height as the perches that they use temporarily during the day. At the beginning of the rainy season, some species congregate in communal sleeping places in groups of 2 to 9 individuals. The species that inhabit riverside beaches rest on grass plants; when 10 individuals were taken from their resting places and deposited on the ground, 4 of them were caught by bigger, nocturnally active tiger-beetles within 2 minutes. This reinforces the idea that nocturnal rest at a distance from the surface of the ground avoids the action of terrestrial predators.