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Insects 2018, 9(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects9040124

Distribution of Canthon rutilans rutilans and Canthon rutilans cyanescens Along Spatio-Temporal and Temperature Gradients

1
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis 88040-900, Santa Catarina, Brazil
2
Department of Biogeography and Global Change, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, 28006 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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Abstract

Subspecies is a debated taxonomic rank that, in some cases, could indicate that a speciation process is taking place. Studying the degree of co-occurrence among subspecies along environmental gradients may help to determine its taxonomic status. In this study, we explore the distribution of two subspecies of Canthon rutilans along spatio-temporal and temperature gradients in the Atlantic Forest of southern Brazil in order to reinforce their current subspecies status or to support their consideration as two different species. A yearly survey conducted along an elevational transect (from 250 m to 1630 m) shows that there is no spatio-temporal overlap between the two taxa. We collected 899 individuals of Canthon rutilans cyanescens and 29 individuals of Canthon rutilans rutilans. C. rutilans cyanescens can be found at 250 m (all year except in June), 430 m (August to April), and 840 m (September to April) in elevation, and when the air temperature oscillates from 15.3 °C to 24.0 °C. C. rutilans rutilans can be found at 1360 m (October to February), 1630 m (January) in elevation, and when the air temperature oscillates from 14.4 °C to 18.6 °C. Furthermore, local temperature data taken during the survey indicates that both subspecies also have a limited overlap in their thermal response curves. All these results suggest that these two taxa could be considered as two different species with dissimilar physiological and ecological requirements probably as a consequence of temperature-mediated divergent adaptation. Further molecular data can confirm or reject this supposition in the near future. View Full-Text
Keywords: speciation; dung beetles; Canthon rutilans; elevation; gradient; temperature; spatio-temporal distribution speciation; dung beetles; Canthon rutilans; elevation; gradient; temperature; spatio-temporal distribution
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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Hensen, M.C.; Hernández, M.I.M.; da Silva, P.G.; Amore, V.; Lobo, J.M. Distribution of Canthon rutilans rutilans and Canthon rutilans cyanescens Along Spatio-Temporal and Temperature Gradients. Insects 2018, 9, 124.

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