Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 34–42 | Cite as

The invasion of the carnivorous carabid beetle Trechisibus antarcticus on South Georgia (sub-Antarctic) and its effect on the endemic herbivorous beetle Hydromedion spasutum

  • G. ErnstingEmail author
  • W. Block
  • H. MacAlister
  • C. Todd
Original Paper

Abstract

Recently two species of carabid beetle were accidentally introduced onto the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. Both species are carnivorous and flightless. One of the species, Trechisibus antarcticus, is locally very abundant and in the process of invading the coastal lowland area, where the endemic herbivorous beetle Hydromedion sparsutum (Perimylopidae) is common. Field samples showed the abundance of the endemic species to be much lower, and its adult body size to be larger, in carabid-infested locations than in carabid-free locations. The sample data allowed us to estimate the growth rate of the H. sparsutum larvae and to reconstruct the most likely life-cycle of both species. A laboratory experiment showed a high mortality for the first three (out of six) larval instars of H. sparsutum in groups which had been subjected to predation by T. antarcticus. The duration of the period during which the larvae are vulnerable to predation was shown in a growth experiment to depend on food type. Quantitative and qualitative aspects of the interaction between the introduced predator and the endemic prey, and conditions which allowed the former to invade are discussed.

Key words

Colonization Carabid Predation Life history Sub-Antarctic 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Block W (1988) South Georgian entomology. Antenna 12:97–102Google Scholar
  2. Block W, Sømme L (1983) Low temperature adaptations in beetles from the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. Polar Biol 2:109–114Google Scholar
  3. Chown SL, Smith VR (1993) Climate change and the short term impact of feral house mice at the sub-antarctic Prince Edward Islands. Oecologia 96:508–516Google Scholar
  4. Darlington PJ (1970) Coleoptera: Carabidae of South Georgia. Pac Insects Monogr 23:234Google Scholar
  5. Davies L (1987) Long adult life, low reproduction and competition in two sub-Antarctic carabid beetles. Ecol Entomol 12:149–162Google Scholar
  6. Elton CS (1958) The ecology of invasions by animals and plants. Methuen, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Ernsting G (1993) Observations on life cycle and feeding ecology of two recently introduced predatory beetles at South Georgia, Sub-Antarctic. Polar Biol 13:423–428Google Scholar
  8. Ernsting G, Isaaks JA, Berg MP (1992) Life cycle and food availability indices in Notiophilus biguttatus (Coleoptera, Carabidae). Ecol Entomol 17:33–42Google Scholar
  9. Ernsting G, Zonneveld C, Isaaks JA, Kroon A (1993) Size at maturity and patterns of growth and reproduction in an insect with indeterminate growth. Oikos 66:17–26Google Scholar
  10. Gadgil M, Bossert WH (1970) Life historical consequences of natural selection. Am Nat 104:1–24Google Scholar
  11. Gray AJ, Crawley MJ, Edwards PJ (eds) (1987) Colonization, succession and stability. Proceedings of the 26th Symposium of the British Ecological Society. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  12. Gressitt JL (ed) (1970) Subantarctic entomology, particularly of South Georgia and Heard Island. Pac Insects Monogr 23Google Scholar
  13. Haderspeck W, Hoffmann KH (1990) Effects of photoperiod and temperature on development and reproduction of H. sparsutum (Müller) (Coleoptera, Perimylopidae) from South Georgia (Subantarctic). Oecologia 83:99–104Google Scholar
  14. Headland RK (1984) The island of South Georgia. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  15. Hengeveld R (1989) Dynamics of biological invasions. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Jeannel R (1940) Croisière du Bougainville aux Iles Australes Francaises. Mem Mus Natl Hist Nat XIV:63–201Google Scholar
  17. Law R (1979) Optimal life histories under age specific predation. Am Nat 114:399–417Google Scholar
  18. Lawton JH, Brown KC (1986) The population and community ecology of invading insects. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 314:607–617Google Scholar
  19. Lynch M (1980) The evolution of cladoceran life histories. Q Rev Biol 55:23–42Google Scholar
  20. MacArthur RH, Wilson EO (1967) The theory of island biogeography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  21. Meyer-Arndt S (1984) Growth and development of Hydromedion sparsutum (Müller) (Coleoptera, Perimylopidae) from South Georgia at different temperatures. Polar Biol 3:39–44Google Scholar
  22. Mooney HA, Hamburg SP, Drake JA (1986) The invasions of plants and animals into California. In: Mooney HA, Drake JA (eds) Ecology of biological invasions of North America and Hawaii. Springer, New York Berlin Heidelberg, pp 250–272Google Scholar
  23. Moulton MP, Pimm SL (1986) Species introductions to Hawaii. In: Mooney HA, Drake JA (eds) Ecology of biological invasions of North America and Hawaii. Springer, New York Berlin Heidelberg, pp 231–249Google Scholar
  24. Niemelä J, Spence JR (1991) Distribution and abundance of an exotic ground-beetle (Carabidae): a test of community impact. Oikos 62:351–359Google Scholar
  25. Ottesen PS (1990) Diel activity patterns of Carabidae, Staphylinidae and Perimylopidae (Coleoptera) at South Georgia, Sub-Antarctic. Polar Biol 10:515–519Google Scholar
  26. Pimm SL (1991) The balance of nature? University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  27. Reznick DA (1983) The impact of predation on life history evolution in Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Evolution 36:160–177Google Scholar
  28. Reznick DA, Bryga H, Endler JA (1990) Experimentally induced life history evolution in a natural population. Nature 346:357–359Google Scholar
  29. Ring RA, Block W, Sømme L, Worland MR (1990) Body water content and desiccation resistance in some arthropods from South Georgia, sub-Antarctic. Polar Biol 10:581–588Google Scholar
  30. Roff DA (1992) The evolution of life histories. Theory and analysis. Chapman and Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Roux PR, Voisin J-F (1982) Notes sur les Carabiques des Iles Falkland (Col., Carabidae). Bull Soc Entomol 87:200–204Google Scholar
  32. Simberloff D (1986) Introduced insects: a biogeographic and systematic perspective. In: Mooney HA, Drake JA (eds) Ecology of biological invasions of North America and Hawaii. Springer, New York Berlin Heidelberg, pp 3–26Google Scholar
  33. Smith RIL, Walton DWH (1975) South Georgia, Subantarctic. In: Rosswall T, Heal OW (eds) Structure and function of tundra ecosystems. Ecol Bull (Stockh) 20:399–423Google Scholar
  34. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1981) Biometry. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Sømme L, Ring RA, Block W, Worland MR (1989) Feeding in the two phytophagous beetles Hydromedion sparsutum and Perimylops antarcticus from South Georgia. Polar Biol 10:141–143Google Scholar
  36. Vogel M (1985) The distribution and ecology of epigeic invertebrates on the subantarctic island of South Georgia. Spixiana 8:153–163Google Scholar
  37. Vogel M, Remmert H, Smith RIL (1984) Introduced reindeer and their effects on the vegetation and the epigeic invertebrate fauna of South Georgia (subantarctic). Oecologia62:102–109Google Scholar
  38. Watt JC (1970) Coleoptera: Perimylopidae of South Georgia. Pac Insects Monogr 23:243–253Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of BiologyVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.British Antarctic SurveyNatural Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations