Unusually High Trap Catches of a Snake Egg Parasitoid, Nicrophorus pustulatus (Coleoptera: Silphidae) in the Frontenac Axis Population of Gray Ratsnake Pantherophis spiloides

Posted on Nov 2, 2016


Michael G. C. BROWN and David V. BERESFORD

CWBM 5 (2): 25-31.

Correspondence: M. G. C. Brown, Environmental and Life Sciences, Trent University, 2140 East Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 7B8, Canada. Email: michbrown@trentu.ca


Nicrophorus pustulatus was recently identified as a parasitoid of eggs of gray ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides), northern ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus) and eastern fox snake (Elaphe gloydi). We sampled Nicrophorus spp. near gray ratsnake hibernacula in the Frontenac Axis region, Ontario, using carrion-baited aerial traps set 6 m aboveground. We caught 6 species: N. tomentosus (500), N. sayi (416), N. orbicollis (202), N. pustulatus (174), N. defodiens (6), and N. vespilloides (2). The catches of N. pustulatus were highest in traps set near hibernacula (linear regression, R2 = 0.78, P< 0.003); this relationship was not found with the

Key Words: Burying Beetle, Gray Ratsnake, Hibernaculum, Nicrophorus pustulatus, Species at Risk.



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