Holarctic Marmots as a factor of Biodiversity.
Rumiantsev V.Yu;, Nikol'skii A.A. & Brandler O.V. eds.,
Abstracts, 3d Conference on Marmots (Cheboksary, Russia, 25-30 August 1997),
Moscow ABF 1997, 216p., 50 (Russian), 154 (English).


O.N. Kabakov

St.- Petersburg, Russia,

The work was conducted in Transbaikal Region in 1966-68 (Buryatia), in 1989 (Chita region), and also in Afghanistan (mountain range Hindukush at Salang pass, mountains Kohi Baba and Nuristan).

The excavations of Marmota sibirica Radde holes to a depth of one metre were undertaken in Transbaikal Region. In the discovered "lavatories" a great number of imago, larvae and chrysalises Aphodius (Agoliinus) tenebricosus A. Schm. (stat. nov.) were found. This species had been earlier referred to the subgenus Pseudacrossus. It is very close to A. (A.) isajevi Kabakov, found and described from the holes of Marmota bobac Mull. in Ulyanovsk region (Kabakov, 1994). Besides there were also found single specimens of A. (Agrilinus) vittatus mundus Rtt., A. (Orodalus) pusillus Hbst., A. (Chilothorax) comma Rtt. Rather large numbers of Onthophagus (Palaeonthophagus) scabriusculus Har. and single - O. (Relictonthophagus) punctator Rtt., O. (P.) clitellifer Rtt. were met there too. All the species listed above were found at the holes of gophers as well, more rarely - in the excrements of cattle, horses, pigs, bears and men. The greater part of these species can be reffered to as facultative nidicols, and Aph. tenebricosus is, probably, a typical nidicol.

In Afghanistan there were examined the "lavatories" at the entrance to the holes of Marmota caudata Geoffroy. The most frequent here were the representatives of the specific subgenus Altonthophagus Kabakov from the genus Onthophagus: O.(A.) marmotae Kabakov (in mountains Kohi Baba, Hindukush and above the forests in mountains of Nuristan - 3000-4600 m above sea level); less frequent were O. (A.) concolor Sharp. (in the holes at the upper boundary of the forests in Nuristan). Both species evidently hatsch the posterity in undeep holes under accumulated bobacs excrements, where their larvae and chrysalises had been found, and they are typical nidicols. The species O. (P.) sutleinensis Splichal, O.(P.) conspersus Rtt., Caccobius denticollis Har., C. himalayanus Zekel, A. (s.str.) fimetarius (L.) and A. (Calomosternus) granarius (L.) are more offen met in the excrements of catlle, horses, bears and others, especially in spring months (III-V), and pass on to bobacs excrements only in summer (VI-IX). All of them are facultative nidicols.

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