Determinants of the Ingestion Rate of Filter-Feeding Blackfly Larvae (Diptera: Simuliidae)
Latta, Steven C.
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Feeding activity was investigated in filter-feeding blackfly larvae (Diptera: Simuliidae) under simulated stream conditions. The effect of food availability and feeding history on feeding activity of these larvae was evaluated. and all other factors previously shown to influence such activity were controlled in the experimental design. The rate of opening and closing of the cephalic fans (the flick rate) was used as an index to the consumption of food by the animals. The flick rate was found to vary with available food concentration. as did the ingestion rate. A positive relationship was thus obtained between the flick rate and the rate of ingestion. Ingestion rates of the larvae increased with increasing food concentration to a point where it leveled off. Observations of feeding activity were made with larvae subjected to two different pretreatment starvation levels. and the results suggested that larvae were able to adjust their feeding efficiency. iiWith honors.