Tenebrionidae - Conibius gagates
Size: 7 mm
Group Guild Status
Trogloxene Scavenger Uncommon
We have encountered this species on two occasions, with two or three of the beetles present at each observation. So far this species has been found only in the Jackrabbit Shaft and in the Jackrabbit Gallery near the shaft access door. Many of the species in this genus are scavengers, and some are known from dry caves or associations with ant nests (Aalbu and Triplehorn 1985). We have activity of two species of ants in the Jackrabbit Shaft; Pheidole rhea and Trachymyrmex arizonensis. The apparent proximity of an ant nest for the latter species in the Jackrabbit Shaft, based on the presence of their vegetable chaff deposit and observed excavation activities, makes it a more likely candidate to support the presence of this beetle. However, we have not confirmed this association. We consider C. gagates to be a trogloxene in the cave.
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