9. Arthropods in the nests of lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina). By Ján Krištofík, Peter Mašán, Zbyšek Šustek & Dušan Karaska
In 2001–2007, altogether 57 nests of lesser spotted eagle were collected in the Orava region in northwestern
Slovakia and four groups of arthropods were extracted from them. Richest in number of species and individuals were mites
(23 species, 17,500 ind.), followed by beetles (12 species, 725 ind.), whereas pseudoscorpions were represented only by
Pselaphochernes scorpioides (39 ind.) and fleas by Ceratophyllus garei (3 ind.). Unlike nests of other birds, free-living mites
predominated in the nests fauna (83% of individuals), followed by nidicolous species with more or less free relationship to
the nests, while parasitic species represented only a negligible part of the fauna. For the first time we observed phoresy of
Nenteria pandioni, a specific and abundant mite in the eagles’ nests, on the nidicolous staphylinid Haploglossa puncticollis.
The beetle fauna in the nests was much poorer than in nests of other birds. The predatory H. puncticollis was dominant in
the nests (83%) and occurred continuously during the whole investigation period. Other beetles, even the widely distributed
nidicols such as the histerid Gnathoncus buyssoni, were found rarely in nests. Predators were also the only abundant trophic
group of beetles in the nests, while other trophic groups of beetles abundantly co-occur in nests of majority of other birds.
The occurrence of all beetles was very unevenly distributed during the investigation period, but was positively correlated
with occurrence of mites. The relatively low number of species and individuals of mites and beetles in the lesser spotted
eagle nests resulted from their position on tree tops, at a height of 20–30 m and their quick drying out by sun and wind.
It was also indicated by an enormously low number of species and individuals of mycetophagous beetles, which represent a
significant component of the fauna in nests of other birds.
Key words: lesser spotted eagle; pseudoscorpions; mites; beetles; fleas; Slovakia
PDF available at: http://zoo.sav.sk/data/people_publictions_1013_2009-Kristofik._Sustek-Aquila-pomarina-nests-arthropods-beetles.pdf
Published in: Biologia 64/5: 974—980, 2009 Section Zoology