Distribution and environmental synchronization of the marine insect, Halobates robustus, in the Galapagos islands

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character
M C BirchJ E Treherne


The following three aspects of the biology of the marine insect Halobates robustus were studied, during a two week observation period, at several sites in the Galapagos Islands: distribution, aggregation behaviour and rhythmicity of locomotory activity. H. robustus occurred in highest numbers on the water surface at shores fringed with mangroves. The aggregations of H. robustus varied according to their location and density. Copulating adults formed dense, floating aggregations, which tended to be close to rocks or mangroves. Late instar nymphs were less aggregated and, in lagoons (where there was some shelter from direct tidal forces), were furthest from the shore. In two types of habitat (mangrove-fringed, sandy shores and rocky shores) the aggregations of H. robustus showed a pronounced ability to maintain a floating station in relation to the surrounding environment, irrespective of tidal movements (in one case at 34 m from the nearest fixed objects). Evidence of the ability of the aggregations to maintain station on the water surface was also obtained by comparing the movements of H. robustus with those of floating polystyrene particles, which move passively with wind and tide. Laboratory observations and experiments indic...Continue Reading


Apr 9, 2001·Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. Série III, Sciences de la vie·A LefrancE Danchin


May 1, 1971·Journal of Theoretical Biology·W D Hamilton

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