We explored the dependence of some Cetoniidae species on saproxylic environments and microhabitats in a Mediterranean oak forest by analyzing species collected using different kinds of traps—log emergence, hollow emergence, and interception traps—and the sex ratio of the species in each trap. Comparing the sex ratio of the species collected via emergence versus interception was useful to unravel the degree of dependence on saproxylic microhabitats. Among the species studied, Cetonia aurataeformis Curti, 1913 (Coleoptera: Cetoniidae) was the only obligate tree hollow inhabitant. Special attention should thus be paid to the maintenance of tree hollows for the species' conservation in Mediterranean forests. A gradient of dependence on tree hollows was established from the more dependent Protaetia (Potosia) cuprea (Fabricius, 1775) (Coleoptera: Cetoniidae) and Protaetia (Potosia) opaca (Fabricius, 1787) (Coleoptera: Cetoniidae) to the less dependent Protaetia (Netocia) morio (Fabricius, 1781) (Coleoptera: Cetoniidae). All the latter species can be considered facultatively dependent, to varying degrees, on tree hollows. By contrast, the saproxylic affinity of Protaetia (Netocia) oblonga (Gory and Percheron, 1833) (Coleoptera: Cetoniidae), Tropinota squalida (Scopoli, 1783) (Coleoptera: Cetoniidae) and Oxythyrea funesta (Poda, 1761) (Coleoptera: Cetoniidae) was doubtful. Generally, the sex ratio of the studied species was female-biased. A possible explanation may be local male competition for females, suggesting the Cetoniinae is a female world. However, the range of difference in the female-biased sex ratio among species suggests it is important to explore other possible causes, such as differences in dispersal abilities.
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Vol. 49 • No. 2