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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Cobblestone Tiger Beetle (Cicindela marginipennis Dejean) Dispersal and Occupancy on the Cobble Bars along the Genesee River, New York

Tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) are a distinct group within the order Coleoptera. Approximately 2300 species of tiger beetles have been identified worldwide; they are similar in shape, proportion and behavior, differing mostly in size and coloration. Tiger beetles are often used as bioindicators, models for understanding, managing and conserving biodiversity and ecosystems. The cobblestone tiger beetle (Cicindela marginipennis Dejean) has been identified as a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” in New York State’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy because it is scarce and found only in small localized areas, and threats to its populations have been identified. Cobblestone tiger beetles occur along the Genesee River in western New York. Objectives of my two-year study were to: 1) identify environmental variables associated with suitable habitat; 2) understand the dispersal dynamics of the adult cobblestone tiger beetles; and 3) model patch occupancy by these beetles. Field methods involved tracking the dispersal of marked and recaptured cobblestone tiger beetles, and repeating surveys of suitable habitat along the upper Genesee River. During two field seasons, we marked 235 beetles on six cobble bars and searched 45 cobble bars from Oramel, NY, north into Letchworth State Park for the presences of cobblestone tiger beetles. These data sets are being used to model dispersal, habitat selection and patch occupancy patterns, which will provide a baseline for future studies of the cobblestone tiger beetle in western New York.

Presenter: Rhonda Hudgins (Graduate Student)
Topic: Environmental Science
Location: 102 Edwards
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)