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Influence of temperature on populations within a guild of mesquite bruchids (Coleoptera: Bruchidae)
- Kistler, R.A.
- Environmental entomology 1995 v.24 no.3 pp. 663-672
- interspecific variation, air temperature, phenology, desert animals, Bruchidae, Prosopis velutina, life cycle (organisms), population dynamics, Arizona
- The effect that harsh, variable desert temperatures might have on the structure and population dynamics of a guild of Bruchidae (Coleoptera) that feed in the seeds of mesquite, Prosopis velutina Wooten, was examined in a 3-yr field and laboratory study. Metabolic rate, fecundity, longevity, developmental times, survivorship, and body size were measured across the temperature spectrum in which the species normally live. The 4 species that compose the guild-Algarobius prosopis (LeConte), Mimosestes amicus (Horn), Mimosestes protractus (Horn), and Neltumius arizonensis (Schaeffer) divide the use of the resource temporally. The first 2 species dominate resource use and overlap entirely in time, whereas the 2 latter minor species utilize opposite ends of the temporal resource spectrum. Of the two dominants, M. amicus functions as a physiological generalist, apparently sacrificing resource adaptation for greater temperature adaptation and very high reproductive output. In contrast, A. prosopis is well adapted to both the use of mesquite as a resource and also to the desert thermal environment. The 2 minor species seem to be less well adapted to both the resource and the environment. Temperature clearly plays a strong role in determining the structure of this guild of bruchids.