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Capacity of Bembidion lampros and Tachyporus hypnorum to survive periods of starvation in early spring

Petersen, M.K.
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 1999 v.90 no.2 pp. 207-214
lipid content, overwintering, predatory insects, Bembidion lampros, longevity, hibernation, body weight, Tachyporus hypnorum, spring, body fat, nutrient reserves, mortality, starvation, Denmark
The capacity of the polyphagous predators Bembidion lampros Herbst (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and Tachyporus hypnorum F. (Coleoptera; Staphylinidae) to survive starvation in early spring was investigated. The two species are of similar size and live in the same habitat. They have similar life cycles; where adults emerge in autumn, hibernate during winter and disperse during spring into arable fields where they reproduce and then die. Both species showed an ability to survive long periods of starvation after hibernation. However, B. lampros could live without food several weeks longer than T. hypnorum. Fat content was measured to estimate the energy reserves of beetles in the field. The fat content of B. lampros was at a constant level of 23% both when fed ad libitum in the laboratory and when collected in the field during spring. The fat content of B. lampros was reduced to a level of 7% when they died by starvation. Fat content of T. hypnorum was more variable both when fed ad libitum in the laboratory (17-33%), when collected in the field during the spring (20-26%) and when they died by starvation (10-20%). Neither the mean longevity of starved beetles nor the fat content of specimens collected in the field indicated that the beetles suffered high mortality due to a food shortage in early spring before movement into arable fields.