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  • Author: Radosław Ścibior x
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Radosław Ścibior, Robert Stryjecki, Marek Nieoczym and Jan Bezdĕk

ABSTRACT

Macroplea appendiculata PANZER, 1794 is an extremely rare species in Poland and Europe. This paper provides new data on the ecology of this species. 24 specimens of M. appendiculata were collected in fish ponds at Samoklęski. This beetle was caught mainly with active traps placed on the bottom, but it was not found in traps set just below the water surface. The data show that M. appendiculata is a typical benthic organism, moving vertically to only a small extent. The low rate of metabolism allows this beetle to inhabit waters of varied, as well as low, oxygen content. The occurrence of the most numerous population of M. appendiculata in fish ponds, currently known in Poland, indicates the crucial role of this kind of water body as a habitat for this species.

Open access

Jacek Twardowski, Michał Hurej, Radosław Ścibior and Andrzej Kotecki

Abstract

Linseed, one of the oldest cultivated crops, is again gaining in importance, mainly due to its nutritional benefits and biomedical applications. Therefore, it is expected that herbivores will also exist in greater abundance. Among them the flea beetle, Aphthona euphorbiae Schrank and Longitarsus parvulus Paykull are considered to be serious pests of flax grown for fibre and seeds in Europe. The aim of this study was to determine flax flea beetles’ abundance, species richness and seasonal dynamics on linseed grown at different densities. It was expected that linseed seeding density can significantly affect flea beetle populations. The experiment was carried out in Lower Silesia, Poland, from 2011 to 2013. A genetically modified type of linseed overproducing flavonoids was used. Flea beetles and the damages they caused were determined on plants and also a sweep net was used for the collection of adult beetles. During the three years of the study 15 species of flea beetles were identified from oil flax plants, with A. euphorbiae and L. parvulus being dominant. In terms of the total catch, the tendency was for beetle numbers to decrease with increasing plant density. Flax flea beetles feeding on linseed plants, irrespective of plant density, had two peaks of abundance. The first peak was lower and occurred in June, when plants were at the blooming stage. This peak was caused by overwintering adults who colonized crops in spring. The second, higher peak of abundance was recorded in the second half of July, when plants were at the ripening stage. This peak was formed by adults of the new generation. Each year, at the higher population peak of abundance, the flea beetles were most numerous on plants grown at the lowest density. There was one period, lasting either from mid-May to the first few days of June, or from the beginning of June to mid-June, during which the number of holes and damage on plants of each treatment were highest. During the three years of the study there were several cases of significantly higher numbers of flea beetle feeding symptoms on plants grown at the lowest density as compared to the medium and highest densities.

Open access

Michał Schulz, Radosław Ścibior, Kamil Badurowicz, Aleksandra Łoś, Milena Bajda, Justyna Tyszczuk, Patrycja Skowronek, Bartłomiej Piotrowski and Aneta J. Strachecka

Abstract

Xylocopa valga, commonly called the carpenter bee and the largest bee with metallicviolet hair cover, is extremely rarely observed in Poland. We hypothesize that a stable and possibly long-term population of X. valga can be maintained in Poland through the creation of suitable nesting conditions. X. valga has been observed since the spring of 2014 in Wisznice (south-eastern Poland). A nesting box made out of 25 wooden blocks with drilled holes was hung about 2.5 meters above the ground. X. valga were interested in the blocks made of willow wood but did not nest in the beech, alder and pine. The carpenter bees chose holes made with drill bits of 10, 15, 20 mm in diameter and a length of 10, 15 and 20 cm. X. valga flying in the same direction most often visited the flora taxa: Aquilegia vulgaris, Ballota nigra, Consolida ajacis, Delphinium consolida, Deutzia scabra, Catalpa spp., Wisteria spp., Robinia ambigua, Stachys spp. and Trifolium pretense. X. valga is a solitary bee, but unlike most other solitary bees it demonstrates aspects of social behavior. It was observed to display cohabitative behavior involving the use of a single hole by more than one female. The females showed aggressive defensive behavior and if approached too closely started buzzing loudly. The information obtained during the long-term observation shows that X. valga can be maintained in partly artificial conditions to increase and stabilize the bee population.