Document Type

Peer-Review Article


Moose (Alces alces [L]) droppings were sampled in June-August, 2007, in Isle Royale National Park, a remote wilderness island in Lake Superior, to characterize biodiversity of the park’s moose dung fauna. Twelve Diptera and nine Coleoptera species were obtained, for a total of 21 insect taxa. Twenty of the taxa are newly recorded colonists or visitors to moose dung. The Diptera were Psychodidae, Anthomyiidae, Muscidae and representatives of three other families, and Coleoptera consisted of three species in each of Scarabaeidae, Staphylinidae and Histeridae. Species per sample ranged from two in early June to nine in mid-July, and a species accumulation curve indicated a total of six more species remain to be detected. The relatively depauparate nature of the island’s dung insect fauna may be attributed to absence of other large herbivores, to geographic isolation from source populations on adjacent mainland, or to distinct physical or biological properties of moose dung. Among reared specimens, Hylemyza partita (Meigen) (Anthomyiidae) and moose fly, Haematobosca alcis (Snow) (Muscidae) required approximately 3 weeks to complete development from egg to adult. Projections from weather records on the island indicated the two species could have completed as many as five generations between dates of last spring frost in May and first autumn frost in November.

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Entomology Commons