The water system of traditional rice paddies as an important habitat of the giant water bug, Lethocerus deyrollei (Heteroptera: Belostomatidae)

Yasuo Mukai, Naoto Baba, Minoru Ishii

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The population dynamics of Lethocerus deyrollei, including the seasonal change in the habitat utilization, were studied in five types of waters, permanent and temporary pools, ditch, rice paddy and marsh in a Satoyama, the traditional landscape in Japan consisting of mixtures of coppice woodlands, farmlands, and settlements, in northern Osaka, from June, 1999 to December, 2001. A mark and recapture census was carried out with adults, and the stage and the number were recorded in nymphs. A total of 95 adults were numbered, and 48 (51%) were recaptured in all the five water types during the study period. Adults of the new generation appeared from late July, and disappeared before the winter in all types of waters. A total of three overwintered adults were recaptured in permanent and temporary pools, ditch, and paddy from between early April and early June. Densities of both L. deyrollei adults and their prey, tadpoles and frogs, were high in permanent and temporary pools, and ditch, in which water temperatures were high in the summer season. Third to fifth (final) instar nymphs were also observed in all water types with different densities in summer, while first and second instars were found only in permanent pool, ditch and paddy habitats in which water temperatures were high and oviposition substrata such as the rice plant, other hygrophytes and wooden stakes existed. These results show that the traditional water system of paddy in the Satoyama landscape as a whole provides an important habitat for L. deyrollei which is now under threat by changing agricultural practices like other native biota inhabiting the system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-129
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
    Volume9
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jun 1

    Keywords

    • Giant water bug
    • Japan
    • Lethocerus deyrollei
    • Mark and recapture census
    • Paddy
    • Satoyama

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology
    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation
    • Insect Science

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