A Study of the Species of Arthropods Associated with Necrotic Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus Acanthodes)
Rank, Nathan E.
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Arthropods were collected on the surface of and inside necrotic barrel cactus (Ferocactus acanthodes) to learn which species might be associated with the cactus. Immatures and adults were collected, and some immatures were reared to maturity from decaying cactus tissue. Insects collected were identified at least to the family level, while the other arthropods (all in the class Arachnida) were identified to the order level. Fifty-five insect families from ten orders were collected. Four families of flies (Diptera) were reared in this study. Three orders of arachnids were represented. The barrel cactus appears to have a similar species composition to that obtained in earlier studies of necrotic giant sahuaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea Britton & Rose), another cactus with large cylindrical stems that grows in the Sonoran desert. Species collected in this study were frequently restricted in range to the Sonoran desert region, while others were cosmopolitan species which apparently use decaying cacti as a desert habitat.