Thermal ecology and the structure of an assemblage of adult tiger beetle species ( Cicindelidae).

D. L. Pearson, R. C. Lederhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The thermal ecology of 13 Cicindela species was studied in Sulphur Springs Valley, SE Arizona. For each species, thoracic temperature (Tb) extremes for activity were determined in the laboratory and compared to Tb at which various behavioral activities occurred voluntarily in the field. Tb for coordinated walking showed few significant differences among species for lethal maximum (LT50) values (47.2-48.9oC) but considerable differences for mean minimum values (14.4-21.2oC). Field measurements showed significant differences among species for mean Tb while foraging. These means were correlated with laboratory measurements of mean minimum Tb for coordinated walking but not with LT50 maximum. The extreme difference in species mean minimum Tb for activity is best interpreted as a mechanism for temporal and spatial separation of species that minimizes predation and simultaneous use of limiting resources. The significance of the general similarity in species LT50 maximum thoracic temperature for activity is likely a convergent adaptation to thermally extreme habitats. It may have facilitated the species' historical dispersal abilities through thermally similar habitats over broad geographical areas and enhanced such factors as egg and larval development times.-Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermal ecology and the structure of an assemblage of adult tiger beetle species ( Cicindelidae).'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this