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Comparative Feeding Ecology of Leaf Pack-Inhabiting Systellognathan Stoneflies (Plecoptera) in the Upper Little Missouri River, Arkansas

Description: The feeding ecologies of leaf pack-associated systellognathan stoneflies were examined from 6 June 1980 21 May 1981. Species composition, seasonal abundance, nymphal growth, feeding habits and mouthpart morphology were determined for the eight dominant stonefly species. Prey preferences and predator-prey size relationships were also examined for omnivorous and carnivorous species. Foregut analysis from 2860 individuals indicated opportunistic feeding on the most abundant prey insects, usually in proportion to prey frequency. Feeding preference studies generally indicated random feeding on major prey groups. Prey and predator sizes were usually highly correlated (p<0.01), with predators expanding their prey size thresholds with growth. The potential for competition between sympatric stoneflies for prey is discussed.
Date: August 1983
Creator: Feminella, Jack W. (Jack William)