D0140 New records of carrion beetles in Nebraska reveal increased presence of the American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanus Olivier (Coleoptera: Silphidae)

Monday, December 13, 2010
Grand Exhibit Hall (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Jessica D. Jurzenski , Entomology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Daniel G. Snethen , Science Department, Little Wound High School, Kyle, SD
Mathew L. Brust , Department of Biology, Chadron State College, Chadron, NE
W. Wyatt Hoback , Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
The federally endangered American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanus Olivier, currently occurs in Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Texas. Surveys in Nebraska for carrion beetles between 2001 and 2010 resulted in 11 new county records for this endangered species and 465 new county records for 14 other silphid species. Over 5,000 American burying beetles (ABB) were captured in over 1,500 different locations in either the eastern Sandhills region or the south-central Loess Canyons. Using mark-recapture data from 2003, 2009, and 2010 surveys, we estimated the ABB population size (± S.D.) for six counties in the Sandhills. Data were grouped by June or August activity periods to account for the presence of only mature adults that overwintered (June) or mostly teneral adults preparing to overwinter (August). Blaine County (2003) had the largest August population estimated at 1,338 ± 272 ABB in a 24 km2 area. In June 2010, Cherry County was estimated to have 498 ± 124 ABB in a southeastern survey area and 374 ± 65 ABB in a northeastern survey area. All other counties had estimates between 99 ± 62 ABB and 451 ± 97 ABB. We calculated movement distances using recapture data with some ABB moving as far as 7.24 km in a single night. This new information contributes to American burying beetle conservation efforts in the Great Plains and provides knowledge about other silphid species distributions, which may play a role in American burying beetle recovery.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.52427