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On-line version ISSN 1852-7329


FLORES, Gustavo E.; LAGOS, Susana J.  and  ROIG-JUNENT, Sergio. Ground dwelling arthropods from beneath Prosopis flexuosa, in Telteca reserve (Mendoza , Argentina). Multequina [online]. 2004, vol.13, n.2, pp.71-90. ISSN 1852-7329.

In desert and semidesert environments, trees generate microhabitats under their foliage originating particular edaphic and climatic conditions. Epigeic communities developing in these environments require different conditions from those of communities inhabiting beneath other plant strata or on bare soil. In this paper we present a preliminary study dealing with epigeic arthropods inhabiting under the foliage of mesquite trees (Prosopis flexuosa), in the Telteca Reserve, Mendoza, Argentina (Monte biogeographical province). Two transects with pitfall traps were checked 21 times since the summer of1994/95 until the spring of 1996. The total amount of collected specimens was 7771 grouped into 228 taxa. The community was analyzed taking into account the taxonomic groups and their seasonal changes, from which the most important in number of species and specimens were Coleoptera, composed of 23 families, Hymenoptera with 7 families, and Solifugae. These three groups represent more than 67% of the specimens collected. Of the 71 families registered, including insects and arachnids, Mutillidae (Hymenoptera) was the most numerous in number of specimens, followed by Scarabaeidae, Tenebrionidae and Elateridae (Coleoptera). The most abundant species in the soil of Telteca Reserve were Mutillidae sp. 1 (male), Elateridae sp. 1, two species of Aphodiinae (Scarabeidae), two Tenebrionidae: Megelenophorus americanus and Emmallodera hirtipes, two Hymenoptera: Plumarius sp. 1 (Plumaridae) and Scaptodactilla heterogama (female) (Mutillidae), and one spider of Zodariidae: Leprolochus birabeni. Concerning seasonal changes, spring and summer show the highest abundance for nearly all groups. The same patterns registred in other dry land studies were recognized.

Keywords : Ground dwelling arthropods communities; Monte; Seasonality; Prosopis flexuosa.

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