Nocturnal multi-species roosts of Cicindelidae (Coleoptera) in a Neotropical lowland rainforest


  • Susan Kirmse
  • Jürgen Wiesner


Biodiversity, Amazonas, aggregation behavior, communal roosts, coexistence, seasonality, tiger beetles, Venezuela


Tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) are frequent predators on the forest floor of the Amazon
rainforest. We report on five diurnal sympatric tiger beetle species belonging to the genera Odontocheila
Laporte de Castelnau and Poecilochila Rivalier in a terra firme rainforest in South Venezuela. We observed
adult beetles for a full year and monitored their nocturnal roosts along two forest paths during the rainy
season in 1998.
We found up to four species communally roosting on low vegetation along the paths during the night.
Multi-species roosts were more often observed than conspecific communal roosts. Although the individual
composition of the nocturnal roosts changed frequently, distinct plants were used for several days to weeks.
The most individual-rich roosts comprised 10 or 11 adult tiger beetles roosting on one leaf. Observed noc-
turnal roosts were dominated by O. angulipenis W. Horn and O. margineguttata (Dejean). Most mixed roosts
included O. confusa (Dejean), O. angulipenis and O. margineguttata.
Low abundances and size differences possibly facilitate the coexistence of these five tiger beetle species.
The advantage of communal roosting during the rainy season is probably the reinforcement of their chemical