iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Distribution and habitat suitability of two rare saproxylic beetles in Croatia - a piece of puzzle missing for South-Eastern Europe

Iva Rukavina (1-2), Fran Kostanjšek (3-4), Sven D Jelaska (1), Alja Pirnat (5), Lucija Šerić Jelaska (1)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 6, Pages 765-774 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2753-011
Published: Nov 28, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

Due to habitat loss and fragmentation, the hermit beetle, Osmoderma eremita species complex (Coleoptera; Scarabidae) and the European red click beetle, Elater ferrugineus Linnaeus, 1758 (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are considered threatened in many European countries. Their presence in a large part of South-Eastern Europe has been sporadically recorded and these findings are mainly historical. Here we present the most recent findings of both species, assembled mainly throughout this first systematic study aiming to collect data on the hermit beetle within mapping and monitoring activities of saproxylic species protected by the European Habitat Directive (Annexes II and IV of Council Directive 92/43/EEC) within the Mediterranean, Continental and Alpine biogeographical regions of Croatia, and current literature data. To facilitate mapping activities and species range monitoring to improve the proper management of suitable habitats, we created habitat suitability maps using recent findings for both species, and predicted distribution were overlapped and analysed with historical data and protected areas. Most of the individuals were captured using flight intercept cross-vein funnel traps baited with pheromone for the hermit beetle placed within natural forest dominated by oak, beech and montane beech-fir forests, on sites with and without any forest management. Among set of 11 environmental variables, autumn precipitation, spring mean temperature and slope contributed most to the beetle distribution models. Data analyses indicated that the European red click beetle has much wider environmental envelope in which it can occur and that the hermit beetle can be used as surrogate species for the European red click beetle.


European Red Click Beetle, Hermit Beetle, Mapping and Monitoring, MaxEnt, Natura 2000, Nature Conservation, Protected Areas

Authors’ address

Iva Rukavina
Sven D Jelaska
Lucija Šerić Jelaska
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb and Croatian Ecological Society, Rooseveltov trg 6, 10 000 Zagreb (Croatia)
Iva Rukavina
Kranjci 40, 52 220 Labin (Croatia)
Fran Kostanjšek
Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre CAS, Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic)
Fran Kostanjšek
Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic)
Alja Pirnat
ZVERCE, Researching Beetles and Dragonflies, Groharjeva 18, 1241 Kamnik (Slovenia)

Corresponding author

Lucija Šerić Jelaska


Rukavina I, Kostanjšek F, Jelaska SD, Pirnat A, Šerić Jelaska L (2018). Distribution and habitat suitability of two rare saproxylic beetles in Croatia - a piece of puzzle missing for South-Eastern Europe. iForest 11: 765-774. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2753-011

Academic Editor

Massimo Faccoli

Paper history

Received: Feb 07, 2018
Accepted: Sep 03, 2018

First online: Nov 28, 2018
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2018
Publication Time: 2.87 months

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