, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 67-74

Patterns of species assemblages and geographical distributions associated with mandible size differences in coastal tiger beetles in Japan

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Nine species of tiger beetle (Cicindelidae) occur in coastal habitats in Japan, with two to four species co-occurring at each locality. To examine the patterns of coexistence and geographical distribution, the mandible size of co-occurring species at 17 localities in Japan was examined, based on the assumption that competition for food is an important factor in determining these patterns. The interspecific overlap of mandible length was absent or very low in localities with two or three species, whereas it was more or less evident in localities with four species. For four large coastal species, the geographical distributions of two species with similar mandible lengths are either allopatric or parapatric, whereas those of two species with different mandible lengths largely overlap. These results strongly suggest that size-assortment in mandible length is important in determining species assemblage and distribution in coastal tiger beetles in Japan.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10144-003-0163-7