Trenches created by the flying saucer trench beetle collect water because the edges are above the sand surface and perpendicular to fog-bearing wind.

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“A third method involves uptake of free water directly from fog-moistened sand. The most elaborate procedure is used by the genus Lepidochora (Seely and Hamilton, 1976) (Fig. 3 c). These flat, circular, short-legged beetles construct a shallow trench 2-4 mm deep in the moist sand surface during fogs. The ridges of the trench, elevated above the sand surface and oriented perpendicularly to the direction of the fog-bearing wind, attain a higher water content than the undisturbed surrounding sand. The beetles then return along the trench ridge, flattening it as they extract part of this moisture.” (Seely 1979:219-220)

Journal article
Irregular fog as a water source for desert dune beetlesOecologiaOctober 29, 2004
M. K. Seely

Journal article
Fog Catchment Sand Trenches Constructed by Tenebrionid Beetles, Lepidochora, from the Namib DesertScienceOctober 5, 2006

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Living System/s

Darkling BeetlesTenebrionidaeFamily

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