, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 314–319 | Cite as

Dynamics of the wax bloom of a seasonal Namib Desert tenebrionid, Cauricara phalangium (Coleoptera: Adesmiini)

  • E. McClain
  • R. L. Praetorius
  • S. A. Hanrahan
  • M. K. Seely
Original Papers


The dynamics of the extracuticular was bloom in a ‘winter’ species of tenebrionid beetle, Cauricara phalangium, from the Namib Desert were monitored in the field and under laboratory conditions. The beetles possessed a full complement of the white wax material after adult emergence. The amount of this material on the integument declined towards the end of the season. The wax bloom was regenerated in both the field and laboratory, with high temperatures and low humidities bringing about greatest renewal. End of the season decline appears tobe related to the senescence of these seasonal beetles. Water loss rates differed significantly for individuals collected in May, when fully bloomed, and in August when little or no wax bloom was present. The wax bloom material contributes to the protection of these diurnal beetles against the high temperatures and radiant heat loads in the Namib Desert.


Laboratory Condition Water Loss Loss Rate Radiant Heat Heat Load 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. McClain
    • 1
  • R. L. Praetorius
    • 1
  • S. A. Hanrahan
    • 2
  • M. K. Seely
    • 1
  1. 1.Desert Ecological Research UnitSwakopmundSWA/Namibia
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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