|Biology and distribution of the littoral rove beetle Psamathobledius punctatissimu (Le Conte) (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae)|
|Griffiths, C.L.; Griffiths, R.J. (1983). Biology and distribution of the littoral rove beetle Psamathobledius punctatissimu (Le Conte) (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Hydrobiologia 101(3): 203-214|
|In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: Berlin. ISSN 0018-8158, more|
Behaviour; Burrowing; Distribution; Life history; Submergence; Insecta [WoRMS]; ; Marine
The intertidal macrofauna on a small sheltered marine beach at Pawley's Island, South Carolina, was dominated by insects, primarily Psamathobledius punctatissimus, a small beetle which attained densities of up to 2 260 adults m−2. Both adult and larval beetles remained buried in the sand when covered by the tide, then emerged to form mole-like surface trails and feed upon diatoms when exposed. Eggs and young larvae were maintained within special maternal burrows, while larger larvae and non-breeding adults occupied their own individual burrows. Both adults and larvae became comatose when in direct contact with water, but recovered after as long as six hours submergence. In the field, burrows retained air during tidal coverage, allowing the beetles to avoid direct contact with sea water. Seaward extension of the population is probably limited by time available for feeding, while longshore distribution is restricted by sand texture and diatom concentration, or by sediment mobility in more exposed locations. Although very locally distributed, P. punctatissimus has achieved considerable success in a habitat poorly exploited by competitors of either marine or terrestrial origin.