Population Ecology

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 67–74 | Cite as

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

  • Aya Satoh
  • Tetsuyuki Uéda
  • Yoshihiro Enokido
  • Michio Hori
Original Article


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.

Key words

Cicindela Biogeography Character displacement Size assortment 



We thank Dr. Hisashi Ashida, Osaka University, Seiji Takaba, and Taku Tsukada, the incorporated foundation KES, for his kind offer of some specimens for measurement. Thanks are also due to Hirotaka Nishi and Jyun-ichi Kitamura for sampling of beetles. We wish to express our thanks to the Department of Education, Shika-machi, Ishikawa Pref., for permission to collect the natural monument, Abroscelis anchoralis, on Ohshima Beach. This work was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No. 11304056) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Population Ecology and Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aya Satoh
    • 1
  • Tetsuyuki Uéda
    • 2
  • Yoshihiro Enokido
    • 3
  • Michio Hori
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Ishikawa Agricultural CollegeIshikawaJapan
  3. 3.Yokohama School for the Deaf and DumbYokohamaJapan

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