A failed invader in the North Atlantic, the case of Aglenus brunneus Gyll. (Col., Colydiidae), a blind flightless beetle from Iceland

Abstract

The occurrence of an occasional pest of mouldy stored product residues, the blind flightless beetle Aglenus brunneus Gyll., in samples from the medieval farm at Reykholt in Iceland, along with several other strongly synanthropic beetles, is considered in relation to its fossil record. The species is dependent on man for its dispersal and survival and it probably had its primary habitat in the warm, decaying litter of the undisturbed forest floor in Europe. Now virtually cosmopolitan, it had been introduced to a remote site in the eastern desert of Egypt by the Roman period and was widespread in medieval northern Europe. The processes by which such an apparently stenotopic species could have invaded are discussed in relation to other evidence for anthropochorous dispersal.

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Acknowledgements

The archaeological features beneath the modern graveyard was noted during the digging of graves by Séra Geir Waage, the priest at Reykholt, and sampling was carried out by EP, whilst working with GS. This research has been made possible by a major research award from the Leverhulme Trust to whom primary acknowledgment is made.

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Correspondence to Paul C. Buckland.

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Buckland, P.C., Panagiotakopulu, E. & Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. A failed invader in the North Atlantic, the case of Aglenus brunneus Gyll. (Col., Colydiidae), a blind flightless beetle from Iceland. Biol Invasions 11, 1239–1245 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-008-9339-6

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Keywords

  • Coleoptera
  • Colydiidae
  • Iceland
  • Biogeography
  • Dispersal