Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Major Professor

Arthur C. Cole

Committee Members

J.N. Liles, R.R. Schmoller


During the period of June 17-December 2, 1970 baited pit-fall traps were used to collect 3467 specimens of Silphidae and related carrion frequenting Coleoptera at varying altitudes (800-6500 ft.) in southeast Tennessee. Ten species of Silphidae and representatives of five other families of beetles (Carabidae, Staphylinidae, Histeridae, Scarabaeidae, and Trogidae) were consistently collected from the traps during the study period. The genus Nicrophorous appeared to occupy the higher elevations in the study area while the genus Silphidae occupied the lower elevations. N. marginatus and N. hydrophiloides appeared to have their elevational centers at higher altitudes than those found in the study area. The population peaks for N. vespilloides, N. orbicouis, N. tomentosus, and S. Americana were reached in late summer. N. marginatus, N. pustulatus, N. surinamensis, S. noveboracensis, and S. inequalis appear to have reached their population peaks before this study began. The Carabidae and Staphylinidae exhibited three centers of elevational distribution (800, 2000, and 5000 ft.). The Histeridae exhibited two elevational peaks (800 and 1000 ft.), while both the Scarabaeidae and Trogidae only exhibited one peak each (900 and 1000 ft.). The Histeridae, Scarabaeidae, and Trogidae appear to reach their population peaks in late summer, while Carabidae and Staphylinidae appear to have reached their population peaks before this study began.

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