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Faunistical and Ecological Investigations on Water Scavenger Beetles (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) of Isparta Province Turkey.

Byline: Aycin Yilmaz and Ebru GA1/4l Aslan

Abstract

Species composition and habitat preferences of Hydrophilidae (Coleoptera) occurring in Isparta province of Turkey were determined in this study. Field surveys were performed between April-November during 2009 and 2010. Totally 33 species and 2 subspecies belonging to 14 genera were recorded from the study area. According to the obtained data 28 of the species were not reported from Isparta province previously. Specimens were collected from various kinds of stagnant and shallow freshwaters brackish water ponds and wet habitats close to the water. Information regarding to relative abundance and habitat preferences of each beetle were given. General comments on habitat choices of the genera were provided as well as some distributional notes on some species. Additionally male genitalia photos of 29 species were presented.

Key words: Hydrophilidae habitat preference water scavenger beetles.

INTRODUCTION

Hydrophilidae (water scavenger beetles) represents the largest group of the superfamily Hydrophiloidea comprising 172 genera (Mart 2009) and about 2900 species all over the world (Short and Fikacek 2013). Hydrophilids zoogeographically have a wide range of distribution and are classified into six subfamilies including Hydrophilinae Chaetarthriinae Enochrinae Acidocerinae Rygmodinae and Sphaeridiinae (Hansen 1999; Komarek 2003; Short and Hebauer 2006; JAch and Balke 2008; Short and Fikacek 2013). Only two subfamilies Hydrophilinae and Sphaeridiinae inhabit the Palaearctic region. Hydrophilinae has 57 genera and 1784 described species which are mostly aquatic while Sphaeridiinae includes more than 929 species mostly terrestrial (Komarek 2003; JAch and Balke 2008; Fikacek et al. 2010). Hitherto; 19 genera 95 species and 4 subspecies of hydrophilids within two subfamilies have been recorded from Turkey (Darilmaz and Incekara 2011; Mart et al. 2014).

Adult water scavenger beetles can be classified as aquatic or terrestrial in terms of habitat preferences. Terrestrial species are included in the subfamily Sphaeridiinae of which members inhabit under the decomposing organic matter such as compost piles decayed fungi or algae. Aquatic species prefer various kinds of habitats preferably lentic systems including permanent or temporary water bodies and shallow water parts of ponds and lakes (Mart et al. 2006). Polluted waters and salt water marshes can also be favorable habitats for some other species. However most of the hydrophilid larvae are aquatic living directly in the water rather than moist areas near it (Hansen 1987). Adult beetles are mostly saprophagous feeding on different kinds of decaying organic matter whereas larvae are absolutely predaceous preying on various invertebrates (Fikacek et al. 2010).

The western and southern parts of Turkey incorporate numerous water resources thus possibly contain a rich aquatic beetle fauna. Up to now the majority of the studies about Hydrophilidae were conducted in eastern central and northern parts of Turkey. Therefore the purpose of the present study was to carry out the first step of a comprehensive study in southern regions of Turkey where the group is poorly studied. This study and forthcoming surveys are intended to contribute Hydrophiloidea fauna of Turkey and their ecology.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Study site

The present study is based on Hydrophilidae material gathered throughout April - November in 2009 and 2010 from Isparta and its adjacent areas. Isparta has an average altitude of 1050 m situated in the western Mediterranean region of Turkey and in the central part of the Lakes Region" (Fig. 1). The Lakes Region constitutes one of the most important wetland areas of Turkey including a series of lakes of different sizes and ecological conditions as well as many other water bodies shallow and stagnant waters slow running waters and moist habitats near water sources.

Sampling method

Specimens were collected by using a sieve ladle or net having a diameter of 1-2 mm pores from the appropriate habitats. Collected samples were killed by using ethyl acetate or 70% ethyl alcohol solution. Beetles were taken to the laboratory for further analysis and dissection. The aedeagophores of the beetles were cleaned with a brush dissected out under a stereo microscope and exposed in 10% KOH or NaOH solution for 1-2 hours. Diagnosis of beetles was carried out using aedeagophores and some other important morphological characters. All the specimens were identified to species using keys and figures given by: Hansen (1987 1991 1999) Shatrovskiy (1984) Gentili (1975 1979 2000) Gentili and Chiesa (1975) SchAldl (1991 1993) Hebauer (1994 1998) Darilmaz and Kiyak (2009 2010) and Mart (1999 2005). Determination of some problematic taxa were completed after corresponding with the foreign colleagues mentioned in the acknowledgements.

The figures of the aedeagophores and morphological characters were taken with a Camedia C-5060 digital camera attached to an Olympus SZX12 stereomicroscope. Voucher specimens are deposited at the Biology Department of SA1/4leyman Demirel University Isparta Turkey.

RESULTS

As a result of collection surveys performed in the study area 33 species and 2 subspecies of water scavenger beetles belonging to 14 genera were identified (Table I). Laccobius was determined as the most species rich genus with 13 species corresponding to a percentage of 37% in total. Enochrus was represented by five species Helochares by three species Cercyon Hydrobius Berosus each by two species and Anacaena Chasmogenus Cymbiodyta Hydrochara Hydrophilus Brownephilus Coleostoma and Sphaeridium each by a single species (Fig. 2).

The habitat preferences of the determined hydrophilids were also presented in Table I together with relative abundance ratios. Respectively Enochrus fuscipennis Thomson Laccobius gracilis Motschulsky and Laccobius obscuratus aegaeus Gentili appear to be the top three species in terms of their relative abundances.

Five species of the 35 taxa namely Hydrochara caraboides Brownephilus major Cercyon circumcinctus Cercyon laminatus and Sphaeridium scarabaoides were identified based on female samples. Additionally Hydrophilus piceus representing the largest hydrophilid samples among the other material was determined based on its aberrant body size and charecteristic structure of pretarsi. Except these the aedeagophore photos are provided for the rest 29 taxa below in Figure 3.

DISCUSSION

The hydrophilid species reported in the present study correspond to about 35% of the whole Turkish Hydrophilidae fauna based on the numeric data given in the recent checklist of Hydrophiloidea (Darilmaz and Incekara 2011). It was also determined that 28 of the species were not reported from Isparta region previously.

The most common and dominant genus in the research area was Laccobius showing a wide range of habitat preference generally including shallow waters and their edges displaying different ecological features as well as muddy and wet habitats. According to Gentili (1995) although many species prefer cold and clean waters as habitat some species such as Laccobius decorus Gyllenhal 1827 L. minutus Linnaeus 1758 and L. biguttatus Gerhardt 1877 inhabit saltwater and brackish waters. Because of the broad range of habitats Laccobius has a wider range of species diversity and a large number of individuals than most other Hydrophilidae genera. The number of Laccobius species recorded from Isparta in the present study account for 50% of the whole Laccobius fauna in Turkey. The most abundant species were L. gracilis and Laccobius obscratus aegaeus occurred nearly everywhere in Isparta Province.

Enochrus has been the second largest Hydrophilidae genus in Isparta. Densely vegetated water bodies accompanied by decomposing plant debris were determined as commonly preferred habitats. Enochrus fuscipennis and E. quadripunctatus were the predominant Enochrus species in the research area.

Helochares is represented by three species in Isparta. Adult beetles mainly prefer well vegetated stagnant waters edges of slow running waters and polluted waters contaminated with human waste. Helochares punctatus was sampled from western Turkey for the first time by this study after Artvin and Corum provinces (northern parts of Turkey).

Berosus Cercyon and Hydrobius included two species each from Isparta region. Berosus species preferably occur in shallow and stagnant

Table I.- Species list relative abundance and habitat preferences of water scavenger beetles sampled from Isparta province (N: Number of specimens R: Relative abundance).

Water scavenger beetles###N###R (%)###Habitat preferences

Anacaena Thomson 1859

A. rufipes (Guillebeau 1896)###42###6.3###Small water puddles rich in organic matter

Berosus Leach 1817

B. luridus (Linnaeus 1761)###10###1.4###Slightly vegetated small ponds and water bodies

B. signaticollis (Charpentier 1825)###7###1.0###Shallow and stagnant waters

Chasmogenus Sharp 1882

Ch. livornicus (Kuwert 1890)###10###1.4###Densely vegetated waters

Cymbiodyta Bedel 1881

C. marginella (Fabricius 1792)###6###0.8###Clean and stagnant waters

Enochrus Thomson 1859

E. coarctatus (Gredler 1863)###10###1.4###Between vegetation of shallow and clean waters

E. fuscipennis (Thomson 1884)###82###12.2###Well vegetated fresh waters shallow waters including high

###decomposing matter

E. halophilus (Bedel 1878)###19###2.8###Shallow waters and edges of salt marshes containing much leaf

###residue

E. testaceus (Fabricius 1801)###10###1.4###Well vegetated clean waters

E. quadripunctatus (Herbst 1797)###36###5.3###Edges of the stagnant pools waters rich in decomposing matter

Helochares Mulsant 1844

H. lividus (Forster 1771)###14###2.1###Polluted waters including human waste

H. obscurus (MA1/4ller 1776)###17###2.5###Fresh and rich vegetated waters

H. punctatus Sharp 1869###13###1.9###Stagnant waters

Hydrobius Leach 1815

H. arcticus Kuwert 1890###6###0.8###Poorly vegetated stagnant waters

H. fuscipes (Linnaeus 1758)###43###6.4###Poorly vegetated waterbodies

Hydrochara Berthold 1827

H. caraboides (Linnaeus 1758)###4###0.5###Poorly vegetated waters and accumulated rainwater

Hydrophilus Geoffroy 1762

H. piceus (Linnaeus 1758)###2###0.2###Large waters with dense vegetation

Laccobius Erichson 1837

L. bipunctatus (Fabricius 1775)###32###4.7###Muddy edges of stagnant waters

L. chiesai Gentili 1974###5###0.7###Muddy habitats

L. gracilis Motschulsky 1855###51###7.6###Shallow edges of lakes small deposits of rainwater

L. hindukuschi Chiesa 1966###7###1.0###Edges of the slow running waters

L. obscuratus aegaeus Gentili 1974###48###7.1###Edges of water bodies in various sizes muddy habitats moss-

###covered waters with intensive eutrophication

L. obscuratus orchymonti Gentili 1976###35###5.2###Muddy transition zones between water and land

L. persicus Gentili 1974###6###0.9###Small water bodies

L. scutellaris Motschulsky 1855###44###6.5###Inside in moss and mud in the slow running waters with

###intensive eutrophication

L. simulatrix d'Orchymont 1932###28###4.1###Muddy habitats near the large water bodies between mosses

L. sipylus d'Orchymont 1939###10###1.4###Shallow and stagnant waters covered by mosses

L. striatulus (Fabricius 1801)###14###2.1###Edges of the clean waters accompanied by rich vegetation

Water scavenger beetles###N###R (%)###Habitat preferences

L. sulcatulus Reitter 1909###6###0.8###Edges of shallow waters between vegetation or mud

L. syriacus Guillebeau 1896###34###5.1###Muddy habitats

Brownephilus Mouchamps 1959

B. major (ncekara Mart Polat Karaca 2009)###2###0.2###Densely vegetated shallow waters

Coelostoma BrullACopyright 1835

C. orbiculare (Fabricius 1775)###23###3.4###Well vegetated shallow waters and their edges including

###decaying organic matter

Cercyon Leach 1817

C. circumcinctus Reitter 1889###2###0.2###Edges of semi-dirty waters with rich vegetation and decaying

###organic matter

C. laminatus Sharp 1873###3###0.4###Edges of well-vegetated big water bodies

Sphaeridium Fabricius 1775

S. scarabaeoides (Linnaeus 1758)###3###0.4###Semi-moist habitats near the water

water bodies while members of Cercyon inhabit in semi-aquatic habitats including edges of well- vegetated stagnant waters. The genus Hydrobius is represented by three species in all over the Turkey (Darilmaz and Incekara 2011) and two of them were recorded from Isparta. This study is the second report of Hydrobius arcticus from Turkey after its first record from BingAll province.

The genera Anacaena Brownephilus Chasmogenus Coleostoma Cymbiodyta Hydrochara Hydrophilus and Sphaeridium are all represented by single species. The present study adds southern parts of Turkey to the distributional area of Anacena rufipes which was known only from northern parts till now. Very small water bodies with rich decaying organic matter or transition zones between water and land are the preferred habitats for this species.

Chasmogenus livornicus is the unique representitive of this genus in Turkey recorded from Afyon and Denizli provinces previously (Darilmaz 2010). In the study regarding its first record it was indicated that the samples were collected during April-June however our samples were collected in late November.

Cymbiodyta marginella the unique representative of the genus throughout the Palaearctic region was firstly recorded from Kayseri and Samsun provinces of Turkey by Mart et al. (2009). This study adds Isparta region to the Turkish distribution area of this species. Hydrochara and Hydrophilus were among the rarest genera of the study area both represented by single species and only a few individuals.

The genus Brownephilus is represented by B. major in the area. B. major was firstly described as a new species of Hydrochara by Incekara et al. (2009) and denominated as major' due to its large body size unusual for the Hydrochara taxa. Later the re-examinations of the specimens revealed the erroneous identification thus the newly described species was transferred to the genus Brownephilus Mouchamps which has been known from a single species from Israel (Darilmaz et al. 2010). With the present report Isparta has been added to the Turkish distributional records of B. major after Samsun and Afyon provinces.

Coelostoma and Sphaeridium including one species each from the study region are terrestrial taxa generally found just away from the water unlike other hydrophilids. Coelostoma orbiculare and Sphaeridium scarabaoides were sampled in semi-aquatic habitats near the water source under the decomposing plant debris or compost (Fig. 4).

Consequently in the present study a total of 35 taxa belonging to water scavenger beetles were listed from Isparta together with general habitat preferences of which 28 were firstly reported from the region. The total number of Hydrophilidae species recorded from Isparta is nearly 1/3 of the whole Turkish fauna. This is because the investigated area intrinsically provides numerous water sources all resulting with suitable conditions for aquatic beetles. On the other hand there is still a certain need of collecting more specimens especially in the whole Lakes Region' either to add new records for the Turkish fauna or to determine the habitat preferences of the water scavenger beetles.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The study was supported by Department of Scientific Research Project Management of SA1/4leyman Demirel University with the project number SDUBAP (2050-YL-09). We would like to thank Dr. Albrecht Komarek (Austria) Dr. Elio Gentili (Italy) Dr. Franz Hebauer (Germany) and Dr. Martin Fikacek (Czech Republic) for their valuable helps in identification of some suspected species.

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Publication:Pakistan Journal of Zoology
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Date:Dec 31, 2014
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