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Cantharidin world in air: Spatiotemporal distributions of flying canthariphilous insects in the forest interior

Horiuchi, Kaho, Hashimoto, Kosei, Hayashi, Fumio
Entomological science 2018 v.21 no.3 pp. 306-314
Anthicidae, Atrichopogon, air, arthropods, cantharidin, females, forest litter, forests, functional diversity, hemolymph, insect communities, males, midges, pitfall traps, spring, toxicity
The natural community in which the members interact using a toxic terpenoid cantharidin is named the “cantharidin world.” In previous studies, however, the members of this world have been surveyed only on the forest floor by setting pitfall traps with cantharidin as an attractant. In this study, we set cantharidin traps at various heights above the forest floor to investigate the structure and functional diversity of the canthariphilous flying insect community in the forest above‐ground space. A total of 3,168 arthropods were collected by the traps; among them, six species were more attracted to cantharidin than to control traps. Pseudopyrochroa brevitarsis and P. laticollis (Colecoptera: Pyrochroidae) both appeared for a short time during spring, but the latter species tended to use a lower layer of the forest. Clavicollis fugiens (Coleoptera: Anthicidae) also appeared in spring and flew near the ground. In these beetles, the attracted individuals were mostly males; they may use the obtained cantharidin for nuptial gifts to the female. Atrichopogon femoralis, A. insularis and Atrichopogon sp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were collected widely in the forest above‐ground space. These midges were almost females, probably because only females of these insects use chemical cues, including cantharidin, for searching for arthropods from which to suck hemolymph.