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Psyche
Volume 2012, Article ID 437589, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/437589
Research Article

Dung Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) Attracted to Lagothrix lagotricha (Humboldt) and Alouatta seniculus (Linnaeus) (Primates: Atelidae) Dung in a Colombian Amazon Forest

Laboratorio de Zoología y Ecología Acuática (LAZOEA), Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia

Received 5 October 2011; Accepted 20 December 2011

Academic Editor: D. Bruce Conn

Copyright © 2012 Jorge Ari Noriega. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Dung beetles are among the most important insects in the Neotropics. Some species use a wide range of food sources, whereas other species are highly specialized. This study compares the use of two-primate excrement by an assemblage of dung beetles in a tropical forest in Colombia. Dung of Lagothrix lagotricha and Alouatta seniculus was used to attract beetles. A total of 32 species (47.7% of the species recorded for the area) were found on the two types of excrement studied, demonstrating that primate excrement is an important resource. The niche overlap between both feces is 27.03%, which indicates a high degree of resource specialization. Although these two primate species are found in the same areas, their diets vary greatly to permit a high degree of differentiation in beetle species. A study that includes dung of others primates would create a more complete panorama of resource overlap in the assemblage.