CARABID BEETLE (COLEOPTERA: CARABIDAE) ABUNDANCE AND HABITAT PREFERENCE IN NORTHEASTERN SAO PAULO STATE, BRAZIL
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A survey of Carabidae (Coleoptera) was done at three sites located in the Jaboticabal and Guaira municipalities in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil from November 2004 to May 2008. Each site had a forest fragment, a soybean/ corn crop field, and a forest edge between them. The survey's objective was to evaluate the beetles' habitat preferences and determine the carabid species with potential for biological pest control. Beetles were captured by pitfall traps arranged along two parallel transects 200 m long, placed across the crop, edge, and forest fragment. Of 27 species on which cluster and correspondence analyzes were performed, 10 revealed preference for the crop, 10 for the edge, 1 behaved as crop-edge species, and six preferred the forest fragment. Calosoma granulatum (Perty), Tetracha brasiliensis (Kirby), Scarites sp. 3, and Scarites sp. 4 occurred in high densities in the crop interior, suggesting they may play an important role in the control of soybean/ corn pests. The small number of carabid species observed in the forest fragments probably is related to the reduced size and poor preservation of these areas.