TitleRainfall cues and flash-flood escape in desert stream insects
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsLytle, DA, White, NJ
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Desert stream insects may use rainfall cues to anticipate and escape flash floods, but this has been studied in few taxa. We used controlled, replicated experiments to quantify the use of rainfall cues for flood escape in seven common desert stream insects. The hemipterans Curicta pronotata and Aquarius remigis responded consistently to rainfall cues by crawling vertically away from the water, in such a way that they may escape flash floods in nature. The coleopteran Gyrinus plicifer showed no response to rainfall cues. The hemipteran Ambrysus woodburyi did not exit the water but sought refuge under submerged rocks. Three taxa (Ranatra quadridentata, Corydalus texanus, and Rhantus atricolor) gave ambiguous results, although the latter apparently responded to environmental cues other than rainfall. We conclude that rainfall cues are a sufficient mechanism for flood escape in some taxa, but other desert stream insects may employ different strategies (behavioral, life history, or morphological) to survive floods.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000248056900004