Turkish Journal of Zoology




There have been few ecological studies of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) from the Black Sea Region of Turkey. In the RAMSAR-listed wetland system of the Kızılırmak Delta of Turkey's central Black Sea coast, seasonal grazing by domesticated water buffalo produces plentiful dung from April to November. Twenty-three species of dung beetles from 13 genera of Aphodiinae and 4 genera of Scarabaeinae were collected from their dung on two adjacent soil types in 2013. The species were from three functional groups, namely dung dwelling (12), tunneling (10), and ball rolling (1). Thirteen and fourteen species were collected in spring/summer and autumn, respectively, with only 4 species in common. There was a distinct shift from Scarabaeinae (8 of 13 species) in spring/summer to Aphodiinae (10 of 14 species) in autumn. The ten species collected on the sandy clay loam soil were a subset of the 23 species on the sand dunes. On the sandy clay loam, high water tables in winter and soil cracking in summer may exclude deeper tunneling species. The 3:1 ratio of dung dwelling species on the sand compared to the sandy clay loam may suggest a more appropriate dung moisture regime over time that favors successful breeding on the sand.


Kızılırmak Delta, insects, community, coprophilous, interspecies competition, season

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