The first comprehensive population size estimations for the highly endangered largest diving beetle Dytiscus latissimus in Europe

M. Balalaikins, G. Schmidt, K. Aksjuta, L. Hendrich, K. Kairišs, K. Sokolovskis, U. Valainis, M. Zolovs, M. Nitcis

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Dytiscus latissimus (Coleoptera Dytiscidae) is an endangered diving beetle throughout its range. It is one of the two species of Dytiscidae listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive, IUCN red list and in many national level legislations and therefore strictly protected. The conservation of endangered species first of all requires an assessment of their population size. Until now, a method has not been developed for estimating the size of D. latissimus populations. The article summarizes the results of two studies carried out independently in Germany and Latvia. Both studies were carried out in one water body used recapture method but with a different spatial placement of traps, which, according to our data, is an important factor in population estimation. We evaluated Jolly-Seber and Schnabel approaches of estimating aquatic beetle's populations and found that confidence intervals obtained by different methods in our research do not differ significantly, but combination of both models provide the most accurate estimates of population dynamics. As part of the study, we concluded that the populations of Dytiscus latissimus are relatively closed, so we accept that the Schnabel estimate shows more accurate data. By fixing the places of capture of each individual, it was found that females live mainly locally, and males actively move within the water body. This aspect indicates the advantage of the spatial placement of traps compared to the use of transects. The results of our study show a significantly higher number of both captured and recaptured males Such a sex ratio may indicate both a greater activity of males and differences in the sex ratio in the population. The study confirmed that environmental changes, such as the water level in a water body, can also significantly affect the result of a population assessment. In the frame of D. latissimus monitoring, to obtain an objective estimation of the species population size we recommend using four traps for each 100 m of water body shoreline with 4–8 censuses, dependently on the recapture rate.

TidskriftScientific Reports
StatusPublished - 2023

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Ekologi


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