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Nørgaard, T. and Dacke, M. 2010. Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles. Frontiers in Zoology, 7: 23


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Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles.

Summary / Notes:

In the Namib Desert fog represents an alternative water source. This is utilised by Darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae) that employ different strategies for obtaining the fog water. Some dig trenches in the sand, while others use their own bodies as fog collectors assuming a characteristic fog-basking stance. Two beetle species from the genus Onymacris have been observed to fog-bask on the ridges of the sand dunes. These beetles all have smooth elytra surfaces, while another species with elytra covered in bumps is reported to have specialised adaptations facilitating water capture by fog-basking. To resolve if these other beetles also fog-bask, and if an elytra covered in bumps is a more efficient fog water collector than a smooth one, we examined four Namib Desert beetles; the smooth Onymacris unguicularis and O. laeviceps and the bumpy Stenocara gracilipes and Physasterna cribripes. Here we describe the beetles' fog-basking behaviour, the details of their elytra structures, and determine how efficient their dorsal surface areas are at harvesting water from fog.

Year: 2010

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://www.frontiersinzoology.com/content/7/1/23


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Nørgaard, T. and Dacke, M. 2010. Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles. Frontiers in Zoology, 7: 23
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