Original Research

Behavioural adaptations to moisture as an environmental constraint in a nocturnal burrow-inhabiting Kalahari detritivore Parastizopus armaticeps Peringuey (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

O.A.E. Rasa
Koedoe | Vol 37, No 1 | a326 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v37i1.326 | © 1994 O.A.E. Rasa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 August 1994 | Published: 26 August 1994

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O.A.E. Rasa, Zoologisches Institut, Kirschallee, Germany

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The nocturnal desert detritivore Parastiz.opus armaticeps shows differences in surface activity patterns and burrow fidelity depending on surface humidity. After rain approximately half of the beetle population, independent of sex, is highly vagile and disperses over long distances. During drought, beetles are more sedentary and show higher burrow fidelity. They also inhabit burrows that are longer and deeper than non-inhabited ones, such burrows being relatively scarce. Burrow fidelity and the adoption of a more sedentary habit during drought are considered strategies to avoid the risks of not locating a suitable burrow before sunrise and subsequent desiccation in shallow burrows.


Tenebrionid, nocturnal, vagility, burrow fidelity, rainfall


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