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

Edit Hook


"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

Edit References

Learn More about the living system/s