Pyrophilous (“fire-loving”) organisms are those that are substantially favored by fire. Pyrophilous species are known among plants, fungi, and animals, including numerous pyrophilous insects. Pyrophilous insects are known from at least 25 families in the orders Hemiptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera, and Coleoptera. As concern about the preservation of biodiversity grows, there is an increasing interest in the effects, positive or negative, of ecological disturbances such as fire on biodiversity. This interest has been reflected by increasing research on the behavior of pyrophilous insects, and on the effects of fire on insect diversity in general.
Sensory Receptors and Behavior
Many species of insects gravitate to newly burned forests because they can use the resources that are available in the recently killed or weakened trees. Some of these insects can evidently detect burned habitats over long distances. Three species, all beetles, have been found that have evolved impressive sensory...
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