Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 545–558 | Cite as

Mechanisms in the Shift of a Riparian Ground Beetle (Carabidae) Between Reproduction and Hibernation Habitat

  • Johan AndersenEmail author

Factors affecting the light response of the riparian species Bembidion petrosum (Coleoptera: Carabidae) were studied with various experimental designs in laboratory and in field. B. petrosum, which lives in open gravely/stony sites, oriented towards directed light at higher temperatures (above 15.0°C). This positive phototaxis was replaced by an orientation towards a dark silhouette (screen) at low temperatures. The orientation towards silhouettes is mainly a simple type of form vision, although a fraction of the individuals seems to exhibit a negative phototaxis. In experiments with a dark zone and a zone with directed light, individuals of B. petrosum mainly selected the dark zone. However, if two stones were placed in the light part of the arena, individuals tended to hide under them. This applied independent of light intensity and whether a tuft of grass was present or absent in the dark part of the arena. The experiments indicate that the shift of the species between the reproduction (spring/summer) and hibernation (autumn/winter) habitat involves a change from an orientation towards silhouettes at low temperatures in autumn to an orientation towards directed light at higher temperatures in spring. This is combined with a specialized low thigmokinesis (preference of heavy and rough objects) and lower moisture requirements of the species in autumn/winter than in spring/summer.


Bembidion petrosum Carabidae seasonal habitat shift riparian beetle 



I thank A.C. Nilssen for comments of the manuscript and for help with computing data and N.A. Peterson for improving the language.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway

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