Brigham Young University Science Bulletin, Biological Series


Tenebrionidae, Beetles–Nevada


The intent of this study conducted over a period of three years was to ( 1 ) provide descriptions of the species of tenebrionids found at the Nevada Test Site, (2) determine their relative abundance, (3) determine their seasonal activity, and (4) ascertain their plant community relationships.

A total of 14,650 beetles representing 46 kinds of tenebrionids was collected with sunken can traps, by hand, and ultra-violet light. Collections were made at regular intervals in the following plant communities: Larrea-Franseria, Lycium, Atriplex-Kochia, Grayia-Lycium (disturbed and undisturbed areas), Salsola, Coleogyne, Pinyon-Juniper, and Mixed.

The data obtained from this study indicate that ( 1 ) more species were present in some plant communities than in others; (2) in nuclear disturbed areas a larger number of species was present than in undisturbed areas; (3) some species were more closely associated with some plant associations than with others; (4) those species that were not widely distributed ecologically were fewer in number of individuals, whereas those that were widespread occurred in larger numbers, relatively speaking; ( 5 ) the species demonstrated variation in seasonal activity in that some were active for short periods whereas others were active during the whole year; and (6) the two seasonal peaks in population are indicative that some species over-winter as adults whereas others over-winter as larvae.