Spatial and temporal distribution of tenebrionid species (Coleoptera) in the Negev Highlands, Israel

Y. Ayal, O. Merkl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Tenebrionid species composition and activity level were studied, using pitfall traps, in two sandy (dune and stabilized sand field) and four compact soil (wadi, north- and south-facing slopes, and loess plain) habitats in the Negev Desert Highlands, Israel. Each soil type had a distinctive species composition but habitats within soft types were similar both in species composition and phenologies. The number of species was not correlated with habitat primary production; it was low in sandy habitats (19 spp.) and high in compact soil (33 spp.) habitats. Within the compact soil habitats, large-size species were abundant only in the high plant-cover wadi, and the low plant-cover slopes and plain were dominated by smaller species. We suggest that low plant cover on the slopes and plain exposes large tenebrionids to predation by birds and limits them to the wadi where they are concealed and find refuge in the plant cover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-361
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994


  • Ciconia alba
  • Negev
  • Tenebrionidae
  • birds
  • desert
  • habitat segregation
  • predation
  • refuge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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