Usually, biospeleological studies focus on cave-specialist taxa showing strong adaptation to the subterranean environment, as their unusual morphological and ecological features represent intriguing case studies. On the other hand, species occurring in subterranean environments but without marked adaptations have been generally overlooked, probably because they are thought to be accidental and not very important for the ecosystem. Particularly exemplificative is the case of Tipuloidea crane flies (Diptera), which although abundant, are rarely considered in biospeleological studies. Here, by analyzing the crane fly occupancy, we observed that individuals occur within the shallowest areas of subterranean environments throughout the year, with a peak of presence during hot season. Crane flies occupy dark and warm areas close to the connection with surface and with smoother walls. Furthermore, we observed that the presence of crane flies is positively related to the abundance and the richness of cave predators, highlighting their importance for the sustainment of the local community. With this study we aim to stimulate future researches on these important, but still neglected cave species.

Are the Neglected Tipuloidea Crane Flies (Diptera) an Important Component for Subterranean Environments? / E. Lunghi, G.F. Ficetola, Y. Zhao, R. Manenti. - In: DIVERSITY. - ISSN 1424-2818. - 12:9(2020 Aug 31), pp. 333.1-333.11. [10.3390/d12090333]

Are the Neglected Tipuloidea Crane Flies (Diptera) an Important Component for Subterranean Environments?

G.F. Ficetola
Secondo
;
R. Manenti
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

Usually, biospeleological studies focus on cave-specialist taxa showing strong adaptation to the subterranean environment, as their unusual morphological and ecological features represent intriguing case studies. On the other hand, species occurring in subterranean environments but without marked adaptations have been generally overlooked, probably because they are thought to be accidental and not very important for the ecosystem. Particularly exemplificative is the case of Tipuloidea crane flies (Diptera), which although abundant, are rarely considered in biospeleological studies. Here, by analyzing the crane fly occupancy, we observed that individuals occur within the shallowest areas of subterranean environments throughout the year, with a peak of presence during hot season. Crane flies occupy dark and warm areas close to the connection with surface and with smoother walls. Furthermore, we observed that the presence of crane flies is positively related to the abundance and the richness of cave predators, highlighting their importance for the sustainment of the local community. With this study we aim to stimulate future researches on these important, but still neglected cave species.
Diptera; Limonia; Limonia nubeculosa; Neolimonia; Trichoceridea; cave community; biospeleology; cave biology; prey; food resources; occupancy; abundance
Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
31-ago-2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/761641
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