Skip to main content Accessibility help

Diversity patterns of necrocolous beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Silphidae, Trogidae) in Agave tequilana Weber (Asparagaceae) fields of different ages

  • William D. Rodríguez (a1), José L. Navarrete-Heredia (a1), Ramón Rodríguez-Macías (a1), Guillermo A. Briceño-Félix (a2), Miguel Vásquez-Bolaños (a1) and Jan Klimaszewski (a3)...


The necrocolous Coleoptera (attracted to carrion) are important to maintain balance in insect communities and in the recycling of soil nutrients; however, there is scarce data on the species that occur in Agave tequilana Weber (Asparagaceae) fields. The diversity patterns of beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Silphidae, and Trogidae) dwelling in 2–4-year-old A. tequilana plots were established by sampling specimens from May to November 2016. In total, 5509 individuals of 23 species were collected. The highest species diversity was found in Magdalena Municipality, followed by the Arandas and Tequila municipalities (Jalisco, Mexico), with significant differences in abundance among municipalities and crop age. The variability in Magdalena and Tequila assemblages was associated with the temperature, while in Arandas it was attributed to the precipitation. The beetle species diversity, species replacement, and dominance in different municipalities are the result of changes in habitat, the interaction of environmental variables, distribution affinities of species, and agronomic practices in A. tequilana fields.


Corresponding author

1Corresponding author (e-mail:


Hide All

Subject editor: Andrew Smith



Hide All
Aguirre, A., Guevara, R., García, M., and López, J.C. 2010. Fate of epiphytes on phorophytes with different architectural characteristics along the perturbation gradient of Sabal mexicana forests in Veracruz, Mexico. Journal of Vegetation Science, 21: 615.
Anderson, M.J. and Willis, T.J. 2003. Canonical analysis of principal coordinates: an ecologically meaningful approach for constrained ordination. Ecology, 84: 511525.
Arriaga, A., Halffter, G., and Moreno, C.E. 2012. Biogeographical affinities and species richness of copronecrophagous beetles (Scarabaeoidea) in the southeastern Mexican High Plateau. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, 83: 519529.
Arriaga-Jiménez, A., Rös, M., and Halffter, G. 2018. High variability of dung beetle diversity patterns at four mountains of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. PeerJ, 6: e4468.
Barragán, F., Moreno, C.E., Escobar, F., Bueno-Villegas, J., and Halffter, G. 2014. The impact of grazing on dung beetle diversity depends on both biogeographical and ecological context. Journal of Biogeography, 41: 19912002
Baselga, A. 2010. Partitioning the turnover and nestedness components of beta diversity. Global Ecology Biogeography, 19: 134143.
Baselga, A. and Orme, C.D.L. 2012. Betapart: an R package for the study of beta diversity. Methods Ecology Evolution, 3: 808812.
Ceballos, G. and Oliva, G. 2005. Los mamíferos silvestres de México/Coord. Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad. Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico City, Mexico.
Chao, A., Gotelli, N.J., Hsieh, T.C., Elizabeth, L.S., Ma, K.H., Colwell, R.K., and Ellison, A.M. 2014. Rarefaction and extrapolation with Hill numbers: a framework for sampling and estimation in species diversity studies. Ecology Monographs, 84: 4567.
Curiel, A. and Garibay, G. 2017. Amenaza de la biodiversidad. In La biodiversidad en Jalisco. Estudio de Estado Volumen I. Edited by Cruz, A., Ordorica, A., Valero, J., and Melgarejo, E.. Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Territorial, Guadalajara, Mexico. Pp. 251262.
Deloya, C. 2005. Omorgus rodriguezae especie nueva de México y clave para separar las especies del género para Centro y Norteamérica (Coleoptera: Trogidae). Folia Entomológica Mexicana, 44: 121129.
Diario Oficial de la Federación de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos. 1977. Declaración general de protección a la denominación de origen “tequila”. La Secretaría de Patrimonio y Fomento Industrial, Mexico City, Mexico.
Edmonds, W.D. 1994. Revision of Phanaeus Macleay, a New World genus of scarabaeine dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae). Contributions In Science (Los Angeles), 443: 1105.
Edmonds, W.D. and Zídek, J. 2010. A taxonomic review of the Neotropical genus Coprophanaeus Olsoufieff, 1924 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae). Insecta Mundi, 129: 1111.
Edmonds, W.D. and Zídek, J. 2012. Taxonomy of Phanaeus revisited: revised keys to and comments on species of the New World dung beetle genus Phanaeus MacLeay, 1819 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae: Phanaeini). Insecta Mundi, 784: 1108.
Escobar, F. and Chacón de Ulloa, P. 2000. Distribución espacial y temporal en un gradiente altitudinal de sucesión de la fauna de coleópteros (Scarabaeinae, Aphodiinae) en un bosque tropical montano, Nariño-Colombia. Revista de Biología Tropical, 48: 961975.
Escobar, F., Lobo, J.M., and Halffter, G. 2006. Assessing the origin of Neotropical mountain dung beetle assemblages (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae): the comparative influence of vertical and horizontal colonization. Journal of Biogeography, 33: 17931803.
Estrada, A. and Coates-Estrada, R. 2002. Dung beetles in continuous forest, forest fragments and in an agricultural mosaic habitat island at Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. Biodiversity and Conservation, 11: 19031918.
Favila, M.E. and Halffter, G. 1997. The use of indicator groups for measuring biodiversity as related to community structure and function. Acta Zoológica Mexicana, 72: 125.
Génier, F. 2012. A new species and notes on the subgenus Deltochilum (Deltochilum) Eschscholtz, 1822 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae: Deltochilini). Zootaxa, 3357: 2536.
Gómez-Tuena, A., Orozco-Esquivel, T.M., and Ferrari, L. 2005. Petrogénesis ígnea de la Faja Volcánica Transmexicana. Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana, 57: 227283.
González, H.H., Solís, A.J.F., Pacheco, S.C., Flores, M.F., Rubio, C.R., and Rojas, L.J. 2007. Insectos barrenadores del agave tequilero. In Manejo de plagas del agave tequilero. Edited by González, H., Del Real, J.I., and Solís, J.F.. Colegio de Postgraduados y Tequila Sauza Sociedad Anónima de Capital Variable, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico. Pp. 3967.
González-Alvarado, A. and Vaz-de-Mello, F.Z. 2014. Taxonomic review of the subgenus Hybomidium Shipp 1897 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae: Deltochilum). Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 50: 431476.
Halffter, G. 1957. Plagas que afectan a las distintas especies de agave cultivadas en México. Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganadería. Dirección General de Defensa Agrícola. Editora Agrícola Mexicana, Mexico City, Mexico.
Halffter, G. 1961. Monografía de las especies norteamericanas del género Canthon Hoffsg. (Coleopt., Scarab.). Ciencia, 20: 225320.
Halffter, G. 1987. Biogeography of the montane entomofauna of Mexico and Central America. Annual Review of Entomology 32: 95114.
Halffter, G. and Edmonds, W.D. 1982. The nesting behaviour of dung beetles (Scarabaeinae). Instituto de Ecología, Mexico City, Mexico.
Halffter, G., Favila, M.E., and Halffter, V. 1992. A comparative study of the structure of the scarab guild in Mexican tropical rain forest and derived ecosystems. Folia Entomológica Mexicana, 84: 131156.
Halffter, G. and Halffter, V. 2009. Why and where coprophagous beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) eat seeds, fruits or vegetable detritus. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 45: 122.
Halffter, G. and Morrone, J.J. 2017. An analytical review of Halffter’s Mexican transition zone, and its relevance for evolutionary biogeography, ecology and biogeographical regionalization. Zootaxa, 4226: 146.
Hernández, B. and Navarrete-Heredia, J.L. 2018. Annotated checklist and biogeographical affinities of Scarabaeinae beetles from Los Altos de Jalisco Region, Mexico. Southwestern Entomologist, 43: 131149.
Howden, H.F. and Cartwright, O.L. 1963. Scarab beetles of the genus Onthophagus Latreille north of Mexico (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 114: 1135.
Howden, H.F. and Génier, F. 2004. Seven new species of Onthophagus Latreille from Mexico and the United States (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae). Fabreries, 29: 5376.
Hsieh, T.C., Ma, K.H., and Chao, A. 2013. iNEXT, version 1.3.0 [online]. Available from [accessed 6 April 2018].
Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía. 1997. El agave tequilero en el Estado de Jalisco. Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática, Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Jardel, E.J., Santana, E., Graf, S., Hernández, L., Valencia, C., González, R., and Meiners, M. 2017. Conservación y restauración. In La biodiversidad en Jalisco. Estudio de Estado, volumen I. Edited by Cruz, A., Ordorica, A., Valero, J., and Melgarejo, E.. Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad y Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Territorial, Guadalajara, Mexico. Pp. 251262.
Kohlmann, B. and Solís, A. 1997. El género Dichotomius (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) en Costa Rica. Giornale Italiano di Entomologia, 8: 343382.
Kohlmann, B. and Solís, A. 2006. El género Canthidium (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) en Norteamérica. Giornale Italiano di Entomologia, 11: 235295.
Lobo, J.M. and Halffter, G. 2000. Biogeographical and ecological factors affecting the altitudinal variation of mountainous communities of coprophagous beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea): a comparative study. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 93: 115126.
López-Guerrero, I. 2005. Los Dichotomius (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Dichotomiini) de la fauna de México. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 36: 195209.
Lugo-García, G.A., Ortega-Arenas, L.D., González-Hernández, H., Aragón-García, A., Romero-Nápoles, J., Rubio-Cortés, R., and Morón, M.-Á. 2011. Melolonthidae nocturnos (Coleoptera) recolectados en la zona agrícola agavera de Jalisco, México. Acta Zoológica Mexicana (n. s.), 27: 341357.
Moctezuma, V., Halffter, G., and Escobar, F. 2016. Response of copronecrophagous beetle communities to habitat disturbance in two mountains of the Mexican Transition Zone: influence of historical and ecological factors. Journal of Insect Conservation, 20: 945956.
Morón, M.-A. 1987. The necrophagous Scarabaeinae beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) from a coffee plantationin in Chiapas, Mexico: habits and phenology. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 41: 225232.
Morón, M.-A. 2003. Atlas de los escarabajos de México. Coleoptera Lamellicornia. Volumen II. Familias Scarabaeidae, Trogidae, Passalidae y Lucanidae. Argania editio, Barcelona, Spain.
Naranjo-López, A.G. and Navarrete-Heredia, J.L. 2011. Coleópteros necrócolos (Histeridae, Silphidae y Scarabaeidae) en dos localidades de Gómez Farías, Jalisco, México. Revista Colombiana de Entomología, 37: 103110.
Navarrete-Heredia, J.L. 2009. Silphidae (Coleoptera) de México. Diversidad y distribución. Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico.
Nichols, E., Larsen, T., Spector, S., Davis, A.L., Escobar, F., Favila, M., et al. 2007. Global dung beetle response to tropical forest modification and fragmentation: a quantitative literature review and metaanalysis. Biological Conservation, 137: 119.
Nichols, E., Spector, S., Louzada, J., Larsen, T., Amezquita, S., Favila, M.E., et al. 2008. Ecological functions and ecosystem services provided by Scarabaeinae dung beetles. Biological Conservation, 141: 14611474.
Oksanen, J., Guillaume Blanchet, F.K., Roeland, L., Pierre, R., O’Hara, P., Gavin, R.B., et al. 2015. Vegan: community ecology package. R package version 2.0-7. Available from = = vegan [accessed 10 April 2018].
Peraza, L.N. and Deloya, C. 2006. Una nueva especie mexicana de Dichotomius Hope (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) y clave para la identificación de las especies del grupo carolinus. Neotropical Entomology, 35: 629631.
R Core Team. 2013. R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. Available from [accessed 6 May 2018].
Rivera-Cervantes, L.E. and Halffter, G. 1999. Monografía de las especies mexicanas de Canthon del subgénero Glaphyrocanthon (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Acta Zoológica Mexicana, 77: 23150.
Rodríguez, W.D. and Navarrete-Heredia, J.L. 2014. Modificación de la necrotrampa permanente (NTP 80) para la recolecta de estafilínidos necrócolos (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) y aspectos metodológicos para estudios sistemáticos. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 55: 147152.
Rosales, J.J., Cevallos, J., Olvera, M., and Figueroa, B. 2017. Agroecosistemas. In La biodiversidad en Jalisco. Estudio de Estado I volumen. Edited by Cruz, A., Ordorica, A., Valero, J., and Melgarejo, E.. Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, Mexico City, Mexico. Pp. 203212.
Ruíz Corral, J.A. 2007. Requerimientos agroecológicos y potencial productivo del agave Agave tequilana Weber en México. In Conocimiento y prácticas agronómicas para la producción de Agave tequilana Weber en la zona de denominación de origen del tequila. Edited by Rulfo, F.O., Pérez, J.F., Real, J.I., and Byerly, K.F.. Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias, Centro de Investigación Regional Pacífico Centro, Tepatitlán de Morelos, Mexico. Pp. 1136.
Ruíz Corral, J.A. 2018. Sistema de información agroclimático para México-Centroamérica. Revista Mexicana de Ciencia Agrícola, 9: 110.
Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación. 2017. Agave tequilero y mezcalero mexicano. Planeación agrícola nacional 2017–2030. Primera edición [online]. Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación, Mexico City, Mexico. Available from [accessed 13 February 2018].
Stackhouse, P.W., Westberg, D., Hoell, J., Chandler, W., and Zhang, T. 2015. Prediction of worldwide energy resource (POWER) climatology resource for agroclimatology (1.0° Latitude by 1.0° Longitude Spatial Resolution). Available from [accessed 15 November 2016].
Trujillo-Miranda, A.L., Carrillo-Ruiz, H., Rivas-Arancibia, S.P., and Andrés-Hernández, A. 2016. Estructura y composición de la comunidad de escarabajos (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) en el cerro Chacateca, Zapotitlán, Puebla, México. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, 87: 109122.
Vaurie, P. 1955. A revision of the genus Trox in North America (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 106: 189.
Vaz-de-Mello, F.Z., Edmonds, W.D., Ocampo, F.C., and Schoolmeesters, P. 2011. A multilingual key to the genera and subgenera of the subfamily Scarabaeinae of the New World (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Zootaxa, 2854: 173.
Whittaker, R.H. 1965. Dominance and diversity in land plant communities: numerical relations of species express the importance of competition in community function and evolution. Science, 147: 250260.
Zunino, M. and Halffter, G. 1997. Sobre Onthophagus Latreille, 1802 americanos (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Elytron, 11: 157178.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed