BIOGEOGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS OF SCARABAEINAE AND GEOTRUPINAE ALONG A TRANSECT IN CENTRAL MEXICO (COLEOPTERA, SCARABAEOIDEA)
AbstractScarabaeinae and Geotrupinae (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea) species composition is analyzed along a 150 km long altitudinal transect that runs S-NE in the Mexican Transition zone. The transect is located in the state of Hidalgo in central-eastern Mexico. The spatial unit of analysis is the landscape. The transect crosses five different landscapes. As terms of reference for studying the geographic distribution of the species, the entomofauna distribution patterns for the Mexican Transition zone were used. The transect includes all the patterns established by Halffter for this zone. Only genera with northern origins were found in landscape of the Pachuca Sierra (mountain range). The two landscapes of the High Plateau (temperate and arid) have one genus with a northern origin (Onthophagus), along with species belonging to genera with Neotropical origins that evolved on the High Plateau. For the landscapes of the zacualtipán Sierra and the slope down to the Gulf–Las Huastecas region genera of Neotropical affinity dominate, and there are also some species with a tropical distribution and of northern-Old World origin. The relationship between the mountains and the phyletic lineages or genera of northern origin and of recent entry into the Mexican Transition zone is confirmed, as is that between the tropical lowlands and the Neotropical lines or genera, also recent arrivals. Taxa that arrived a long time ago, of either origin, do not exhibit this geographic-ecological dependence. The Hidalgo Transect is compared with two other, similar transects sampled in the Mexican Transition zone: the Cofre de Perote–Gulf Coast transect (Veracruz) and that of Manantlán (Jalisco). In the mountain landscapes, High Plateau and Tropical Lowlands, there were no important differences in the species composition of the groups studied. In contrast, in the Transition landscape (zacualtipán in the Hidalgo Transect) there were very notable differences. In the Cofre de Perote transect, an important functional group is missing from the treeless habitats: the roller Scarabaeinae. For the same landscape, in Manantlán, lineages with Neotropical affinities are represented by a single species which completely dominates the beetles of northern affinities. This contrasts markedly with the Hidalgo and Cofre de Perote transects where, in the Transition landscape, Neotropical taxa are well represented. It appears that, unlike the tropical lowlands where (geologically recent) penetration of Neotropical taxa is massive in all three transects, in the transition landscapes (originally covered by cloud forest) the penetration of Neotropical taxa is highly variable, and depends on the mountain range in which they are found. In the Conclusions section, we analyze how the beetle fauna with different distribution patterns have contributed to the composition of the fauna of the Hidalgo Transect and in general that of the Mexican Transition zone, resulting in a mixture (genera with northern-Old World affinity, and genera with Neotropical affinities) that give the Mexican Transition zone its unique character.
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Copyright (c) 2008 Gonzalo Halffter, José R. Verdú, Juan Márquez, Claudia E. Moreno
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