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Ward, D. and Seely, M.K. 1996. Adaptation and Constraint in the Evolution of the Physiology and Behavior of the Namib Desert Tenebrionid Beetle Genus Onymacris. Evolution, 50(3): 1231-1240


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Adaptation and Constraint in the Evolution of the Physiology and Behavior of the Namib Desert Tenebrionid Beetle Genus Onymacris.

Summary / Notes:

A comparative phylogenetic approach was used to test the following adaptive hypotheses pertaining to the physiological abilities of the Namib desert tenebrionid beetle genus Onymacris to withstand the hot, dry desert environment: (1) Desert-interior species evolved longer legs (relative to body size) than beetles in the cooler coastal region to facilitate stilting, i.e., elevating their bodies out of the hot boundary layer of air close to the substrate. (2) Wax blooms on the exoskeleton, which reduce evaporative water loss, are more likely to evolve in desert-interior species than in coastal species. (3) The high costs of activity in the extreme climates select for perfect coadaptation of preferred body temperatures (i.e., optimal temperatures for activity) and those they achieve in the field. All three of these adaptive hypotheses were supported by the results of squared-change parsimony and independent-contrasts analyses. Additionally, a parsimony approach suggested that a novel means of obtaining water from periodic fogs, known as fog basking, has evolved independently on two occasions.

Year: 1996

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2410663?uid=3737864&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21102165041421


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Hamilton III, W. J. and Penrith, M.L. 1977. Description of an individual possible hybrid tenebrionid beetle and the habitat preference of the parental species. The Canadian Entomologist, 109: 701-710
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Hamilton III, W.J., Henschel, J.R. and Seely, M. 2003. Fog collection by Namid Desert beetles. South African Journal of Science, 99(3/4): 181
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Seely, M., Henschel, J.R. and Hamilton III, W.J. 2005. Long-term data show behavioural fog collection adaptations determine Namib Desert beetle abundance. South African Journal of Science, 101(11/12): 570-572
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Seely, M.K., Lewis, C.J., O'Brien, K.A. and Suttle, A.E. 1983. Fog response of tenebrionid beetles in the Namib Desert. Journal of Arid Environments, 6(2): 135-143
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Nicolson, S.W. 1990. Water relations of the Namib Tenebrionid beetles. In Seely, M.K.,(ed), Namib Ecology: 25 years of Namib Research, pg 172-178. Transvaal Museum Monograph No. 7, Transvaal Museum, Pretoria
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Koch, C. 1963. The Tenebrionidae of Suthern Africa XXIX: Luebbertia plana gen. et spec.nov., with a dichotomic analysis of Stizopina (Opatrini). Scientific Papers of the Namib DesertrnResearch Station, 18: 1-87
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Schulze, L. 1962. The Tenebrionidae of Southern Africa XXXIII: Descriptive notes on the early stages of Onymacris rugatipennis Haag and Lepidochora discoidalis Gebien and keys to genera and species of Adesmiini and Eurychorini. Annals of the Transvaal Museum, 24 (2-3): 161-180
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Naidu, S.G. 2001. Water balance and osmoregulation in Stenocara gracilipes, a wax-blooming tenebrionid beetle from the Namib Desert. Journal of Insect Physiology, 47(12): 1429-1440
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Seely, M.K. 1979. Irregular fog as a water source for desert dune beetles. Oecologia, 42(2): 213-227
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Louw, G.N., Nicolson, S.W. and Seely, M.K. 1986. Short Communication: Respiration beneath Desert Sand: Carbon Dioxide Diffusion and Respiratory Patterns in a Tenebrionid Beetle. Journal of Experimental Biology, 120: 443-447
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