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Substrate selection for pit making and oviposition in an antlion, Myrmeleon bore Tjeder, in terms of sand particle size


Toshiaki Matsura, Department of Biology, Kyoto University of Education, Fishimi-ku, Kyoto, 612-8522 Japan. Email:


The larvae of the pit-making antlion Myrmeleon bore Tjeder live in open sand in riverbeds with a substratum consisting of various particle sizes. We analyzed the spatial distribution of their pits in a sandy floodplain to determine their larval and adult responses to the heterogeneous substrate. The spatial distribution pattern of their pits had an aggregated distribution, and there was a significant positive correlation between pit density and the ratio of medium-size sand particles to total weight of sand. We examined the size of sand particles selected in the larval pit-building behavior and the oviposition behavior of the adult. Both larvae and adults selected medium-size sand particles. The larvae of M. bore are relatively sedentary predators and rarely move great distances. Thus, the present results suggest that habitat selection by adult females is a major factor causing the aggregative distribution of the pits.