Polar Biology

, Volume 10, Issue 7, pp 515-519

First online:

Diel activity patterns of Carabidae, Staphylinidae and Perimylopidae (Coleoptera) at South Georgia, Sub-Antarctic

  • P. S. OttesenAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Division of Zoology, University of Oslo

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Six of the eight species of beetles at South Georgia, the southernmost beetles of the world, were investigated in outdoor arenas with pitfall traps for their diel patterns of locomotory activity. All of them were clearly nocturnal, the only exception being a small staphylinid which appeared to be active throughout the day and night. Activity of the other species was restricted to the dark period of the night, with little activity during twilight. Peak activity occurred before or at midnight. Activity was clearly correlated with temperature. Diurnal activity may involve a risk of overheating and desiccation, but could also have evolved in the past due to bird predation, which today is very low in the study area.