Distribution, habitat characteristics and conservation requirements of a forest-dependent threatened invertebrate Lissotes latidens (Coleoptera: Lucanidae)
Meggs, JM and Munks, SA, Distribution, habitat characteristics and conservation requirements of a forest-dependent threatened invertebrate Lissotes latidens (Coleoptera: Lucanidae), Journal of Insect Conservation, 7, (3) pp. 137-152. ISSN 1366-638X (2003) [Refereed Article]
The distribution, habitat and conservation requirements of an endangered stag beetle, Lissotes latidens (Coleoptera: Lucanidae), in south-east Tasmania were investigated. This study trebled the known range of the species to 280 km2, of which 15% constituted potential habitat. The beetle was found to inhabit a range of wet forest types including damp eucalypt forest, wet eucalypt forest, rainforest and riparian areas amongst drier forest types. Relative to other Tasmanian lucanids, L. latidens was found to occur at quite low population densities. The species had a preference for forest with a well-developed overstorey and greater than 10% ground cover of coarse woody debris (CWD . Although L. latidens is soil-dwelling throughout its life-cycle, it has a close association with CWD, occurring under logs at the interface of soil and CWD. Suitable forest habitat for L. latidens is poorly reserved, with 48% managed under clearfell, burn and sow forestry regimes; a practice that is likely to lead to the depletion of CWD over successive harvesting rotations. Recommendations are made for the conservation management of habitat utilised by L. latidens in 'off-reserve' areas. The need for conservation strategies to incorporate the temporal dynamics of habitat important to forest-dependent threatened species is discussed.