The endangered American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanus, was monitored on Block Island, RI, USA, from 1991-2003 using mark-recapture population estimates of adults collected in pitfall traps. Populations increased through time, especially after 1994 when a program was initiated that provided carrion for beetle production. Beetle captures increased with increasing temperature and dew point, and decreased with increasing wind speed. Short distance movement was not related to wind direction, while longer distance flights tended to be downwind. Although many individuals flew considerable distances along transects, most recaptures were in traps near the point of release. These behaviors probably have counterbalancing effects on population estimates.
Additional Publication Details
Population trends and flight behavior of the American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanus (Coleoptera: Silphidae), on Block Island, RI