H. pensylvanicus, a ground beetle found throughout the United States, presents as the dominant weed seed predator in portions of the Northeastern United States. Even though they occupy a variety of habitats, H. pensylvanicus spend most of their time in open fields and forests. Olfaction, mediated by specialized sensory cells in the antennae of invertebrates, is the main sense H. pensylvanicus use to locate food sources. This research project focuses on determining how temperature impacts olfaction and how the impact correlates to seed selection by H. pensylvanicus. Bioassays were completed with seeds from two weed species abundant in the Northeastern United States: Giant Foxtail (S. faberi) and Velvetleaf (A. theophrasti). After testing at 23°C, 17°C, and 15°C, H. pensylvanicus only sensed and foraged for seeds at 23°C (two-sided binomial test: p <0.05). The results of this project have implications for sustainable agricultural practices.
Krawczyk, Rachel, "The Role of Temperature on Weed Seed Selection by Harpalus pensylvanicus" (2019). Academic Festival Posters. 131.