Diversity of Coprophagous Scarabaeidae (Coleoptera) in Grazed Versus Ungrazed Sandhills Prairie in Western Nebraska
Baited pitfall traps were used to compare the dung-feeding Scarabaeidae (Coleoptera) of a grazed versus ungrazed sandhills prairie in western Nebraska. Traps yielded 14,832 coprophagous Scarabacidac over a 4-week sampling period in 1987. Canthon ebenus (say), C. pilurarius (L.), Onthophagous Hecate Panzer, and O. Pennsylvanicus Harold were the dominant species on both prairies. The Shannon-Wiener diversity Index indicated that diversity was slightly higher on the grazed site, where as the Margalef diversity index showed the diversities to be nearly the same. Activity and foraging by scrabs (as mensured by trapping success) were found to be most closely correlated with temperature (activity decreasing dramatically above 35°C) and Insolation. Differences in dung beetle abundance and diversity between sampling sites may be due to microelimatological phenomena caused by grazing of cattle.