Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 5–6, pp 909–920 | Cite as

Diversity of edaphic Heteroptera (Hemiptera) over a heterogeneous neotropical landscape

  • Renato P. SalomãoEmail author
  • Jezabel B. Santacruz
  • Mario E. Favila


Studies involving Heteroptera biodiversity and ecology are incipient in tropical ecosystems and have mainly focused on taxonomy. We evaluated the relationship between Heteroptera diversity and habitat type, elevation, forest fragment size and periods of the year in the northernmost limit of Neotropical rainforest, Los Tuxtlas. We sampled Heteroptera using pitfall traps installed in pasturelands and forest fragments, which ranged from 25 to 560 ha in size and were located between 150 and 870 m.a.s.l. Heteroptera species richness and abundance were significantly higher in forest fragments than in pasturelands. In addition, Heteroptera species richness and abundance were negatively related to forest fragment size but were not significantly related to elevation. Lastly, species richness and abundance were significantly higher during spring and summer than during autumn and winter. The greater Heteroptera diversity observed in the forest fragments was likely the result of more than half of the species observed being unique to these habitats. This highlights the importance of habitat conservation in the maintenance of Heteroptera diversity. This study expands the incipient ecological knowledge of this group and provides a basis for future Heteroptera research within fragmented landscapes.


Diversity Fragmentation Indicator Landscape Rainforest True bugs 



We thank the UNAM biological station of Los Tuxtlas and R Coates for the logistic support for the achievement of the fieldwork. We thank F Cuevas-Caselín, A Jacome-Hernández, A Díaz and F Armas for help during fieldwork. We thank C Vargas for her help in processing the samples. In addition, we thank F Laborde-Dolaví and JJ Von Thaden, Instituto de Ecología, A.C., for providing the shapes of land cover from the study area, and D Rivera for aiding the map’s confection. We also thank “Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología” (CONACYT) for a scholarship to RP Salomão over the course of this study. We would like to thank Editage for English language editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest (financial and non-financial).

Ethical approval

The experimentation was no invasive and complied with Mexican law. At the end of the experiment, the specimens were deposited in the IEXA Entomological Collection of INECOL A.C. following standard procedures.

Human and animal rights

There were no human participants on the study.

Informed consent

No informed consent was required.

Supplementary material

10841_2019_172_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 1 Number of individuals collected for Heteroptera species in each sampling site within Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico (XLSX 20 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Red de Ecoetología, Instituto de Ecología A. C.XalapaMexico
  2. 2.Red de Biodiversidad y Sistemática, Instituto de Ecología A. C.XalapaMexico

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