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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1995 → Spatial and temporal relationships in robber flies (Diptera : Asilidae) in Chihuahuan Desert scrub, Dona Ana Co., New Mexico

New Mexico State University (1995)

Spatial and temporal relationships in robber flies (Diptera : Asilidae) in Chihuahuan Desert scrub, Dona Ana Co., New Mexico

Forbes, Gregory Scott

Titre : Spatial and temporal relationships in robber flies (Diptera : Asilidae) in Chihuahuan Desert scrub, Dona Ana Co., New Mexico

Auteur : Forbes, Gregory Scott

Université de soutenance : New Mexico State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1995

Résumé
As a large, worldwide family of predacious flies, the Asilidae have received numerous faunistic treatments. The spatial relationships of asilid populations at the local level, however, remain poorly known. This study examines the distributions and temporal relationships of asilids in Chihuahuan desert habitats near Las Cruces, Dona Ana Co., New Mexico, and considers how robber fly populations at various study sites and habitat types compare faunistically. The species richness of the study area was compared with that of other sites in the western U.S. The asilid faunas of sixteen study sites, representing a variety of soil types and plant communities, were inventoried over a period of several years. One site, the LTER transect on the Jornada Range, encompassed several contiguous plant associations. Additional study sites, visited less frequently, were used for supplementary data on species richness. An illustrated key and annotated faunal list for all known species resulted from the faunal studies. The flight period for each species was compiled from several years of records. Relationships of LTER transect Asilidae to environmental variables were assessed with Pearson’s correlation. Faunal similarities of study sites were compared with Sorenson’s similarity coefficients. One hundred species of Asilidae, in 38 genera, were found in the study area, a total representing 10% of the known U.S. fauna. One-quarter of the local fauna belongs to the genus Efferia. Fifty-six of the local species were also recorded in the Chiricahua Mountains. Arizona, which had a slightly larger fauna. Twenty-two of the thirty-seven known species from the WIPP site in southeastern New Mexico are found at Las Cruces. In the study area, the richest sites, including the LTER transect, tended also to be rich floristically, although across all western sites large faunas were not always associated with high plant heterogeneity. Although some of the sixteen study areas had suites of species in common, no two sites, even if nearly adjacent, shared the same faunas. Temporally, asilids were present all months of the year in Dona Ana Co., with the most species present in June and July and the fewest in February. Flight during cooler months may allow smaller species to avoid competition (including cannibalism) from larger species and to utilize prey resources available at that time.

Mots clés : Ecology, desert, Biological sciences, LTER, Botany, Entomology

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