Abstract

We examined dung beetle diversity and richness at the Wits Rural Facility in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The dung beetle community was assessed in three separate habitats: grassland, woodland, and the ecotone. For our experiment one kilogram of cow dung was placed at each of 10 locations in each habitat, with samples located 25 meters apart. This was done on two different occasions, once to measure species diversity and the other to measure species richness of the dung beetles that came to each pile. Diversity was measured by collecting one individual of each morphotype at each site. The collection of specimens was done the day the dung was put out and after 24 hours. We counted 26 different morphotypes from the two days combined. Several morphotypes were unique to the second day and were not present on the first.

Species richness over time was measured by going out to the dung pile locations during different times throughout the day. We went out to view an hour after the piles were placed in the morning, four hours later at midday, and two hours after that in the early evening. We counted the number of beetles from each morphotype at each location. The number of morphotypes, and density of individuals of each morphotype, decreased over time as the dung piles decreased in volume.

Modified Abstract

We examined dung beetle diversity and richness at the Wits Rural Facility in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The dung beetle community was assessed in three separate habitats: grassland, woodland, and ecotone. Diversity was measured by collecting one individual of each morphotype at each site the same day the dung was put out, and 24 hours after. Species richness over time was measured by going out to the dung pile locations different times throughout the day. We viewed an hour after they were placed down, four hours after, and six hours after. We counted the number of beetles from each morphotype in each location. The number of morphotypes, and density of individuals of each morphotype decreased over time as the dung piles increased in volume.

Research Category

Biology/Ecology

Primary Author's Major

Zoology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Megan Griffiths

Mentor #2 Information

Dr. David Ward

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

2017 1:00 PM

Research Area

Entomology | Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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Mar 21st, 1:00 PM

Dung beetle diversity and species richness across three habitats in South African savannah

We examined dung beetle diversity and richness at the Wits Rural Facility in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The dung beetle community was assessed in three separate habitats: grassland, woodland, and the ecotone. For our experiment one kilogram of cow dung was placed at each of 10 locations in each habitat, with samples located 25 meters apart. This was done on two different occasions, once to measure species diversity and the other to measure species richness of the dung beetles that came to each pile. Diversity was measured by collecting one individual of each morphotype at each site. The collection of specimens was done the day the dung was put out and after 24 hours. We counted 26 different morphotypes from the two days combined. Several morphotypes were unique to the second day and were not present on the first.

Species richness over time was measured by going out to the dung pile locations during different times throughout the day. We went out to view an hour after the piles were placed in the morning, four hours later at midday, and two hours after that in the early evening. We counted the number of beetles from each morphotype at each location. The number of morphotypes, and density of individuals of each morphotype, decreased over time as the dung piles decreased in volume.