ALBARIÑO Ricardo Javier
The food habits and mouthpart morphology of a South Andes population of Klapopteryx kuscheli (Plecoptera: Austroperlidae)
Swetz & Zeitlinger
Lugar: Lisse; Año: 2001 vol. 23 p. 171 - 171
The food habits of two size groups of larvae of Klapopteryx kuscheli, belonging to intermediate and late instars, were studied for mouthpart morphology, gut content and were tested in food particle size preference experiments. Gut content of 103 larvae collected seasonally (in April, July, October and January 1996-97) in a 1st order mountain stream in Argentina was determined. Particle size preference experiments consisted of offering simultaneously to each larval size group fine (FPOM) and coarse (CPOM) particle sizes of Nothofagus pumilio leaves. Mouthparts are characterized by stout mandibles bearing both cutting teeth and a well-developed molar region. The gut content of K. kuscheli in all seasons was dominated by leaf fragments (sizes from 0.5 µm -1 mm), representing annually 79.9% and 83.4% of the gut content, respectively, for intermediate and late instars. In particle size preference experiments both larval size groups fed selectively on CPOM; those of intermediate instars consumed 6 times and those of late instars 4 times more CPOM than FPOM. Therefore, both groups of K. kuscheli larvae are functionally classified as shredders, preferring coarse particle size.