The parameters influencing food consumption in larvae and adults of five species of Gerris were studied. An experimental components analysis was utilized with emphasis placed on measurements of the length of time the insects spent handling food items, and the amount of food in the gut at any one time. The following characteristics were noted: (1) The maximum feeding time required to achieve satiation was 2–2.5 h for all gerrids above 10 mg wet weight. For gerrids below this weight, feeding time declined at a logarithmic rate. (2) Body size had little influence on the duration of the feeding period after food deprivation; only with the first and second instar larvae was a significant difference noted. (3) The average duration of the feeding and non-feeding periods was 10.4 and 24.6 min respectively for satiated adult G. remigis in the presence of excess food. (4) Signifcant differences in relative digestive rate existed between adult and larvae irrespective of species. (5) The smaller the gerrid, the greater the volume relative to its body weight that could be consumed at a single feeding, and for all gerrids, the amount consumed per day was greater than the maximum amount that can be ingested at a single feeding, this difference being larger in the larvae than in the adults. (6) The relationship between daily amount consumed and temperature was linear for four species, increasing with increasing temperature; food consumption in G. remigis, however, peaked at about 19°C, and declined linearily at temperatures both above and below this value. (7) Irrespective of instar and stadium duration, food consumption for G. notabilis peaked within a stadium about 40% of the way through the stadium.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ethologie animale
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics