Arthropod corpses in a temperate grassland: a limited supply?

J. Retana, X. Cerdà, X. Espadaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The disappearance of arthropod corpses in a temperate grassland of the Mediterranean coast (Barcelona, Spain) has been analyzed in this study. The mean time in which the corpses stayed out in the field is less than five minutes (x̄= 285 ± 282 s), in a range of 2‐2228 s. This holds true in cleared areas as well as in high vegetation areas. Ants are the principal scavengers of this type of remains, although the species that collect them vary according to the time of day and season of year, with the corpses’disappearance being the most rapid during the middle hours of the day, precisely when ants’density on the ground is less. The reason for this was the peak daytime abundance of insectivore, opportunisms ants. Anyway, the short time lapse that the prey stay in the field ‐ at any time of the day ‐ can be considered as an indirect estimate of the scarcity of these resources. Copyright © 1991, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-67
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991


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