Diets and trophic guilds of aquatic insects in Molino River, La Guajira, Colombia

  • Cristian Granados-Martínez | cegranados@uniguajira.edu.co Universidad de la Guajira, Colombia.
  • Bladimir Zúñiga-Céspedes Southern Illinois University, United States.
  • Julio Acuña-Vargas Universidad de la Guajira, Colombia.

Abstract

Aquatic insects are considered a key component for stream food webs because of their contribution to the flow of energy from basal resources to the top predators. For this reason, the study of trophic guilds on aquatic insects is necessary to understand the transformation of energy and matter in stream ecosystems. The study of trophic guilds on aquatic insects has been widely documented in temperate streams. In contrast, little is known about feeding habits and trophic guilds in Neotropical streams. However, several lines of evidence indicate that aquatic insects in the Neotropical region are generally omnivores and that the Fine Particulate Organic Matter (FPOM) is the main food item. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the diets and the trophic guilds of aquatic insects in an unexplored region of northern Colombia (Molino River, La Guajira). Aquatic insects were sampled using a Surber net, covering the different kind of substrates over a 100 m reach. Samples were sorted and identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible. We analyzed 250 guts of aquatic insects belonging to six orders, nine families, and 10 genera (Leptonema, Chimarra, Anacroneuria, Nectopsyche, Tabanus, Simulium, Pseudodisersus, Corydalus, Camelobaetidius, and Baetodes). We found that FPOM, algae, and animal tissue were the most important food items in the gut content of the aquatic insects at the Molino River. Our results suggest that aquatic insects in the Molino River are generally detritivores, highlighting the importance of the dead organic matter in Neotropical streams. We reported -for the first time- the trophic guilds of the genera Nectopsyche and Pseudodisersus, which were categorized as herbivorous. Our results suggest that aquatic insects in the Molino River exploit a variety of food resources and emphasize the importance of the study of feeding habits on aquatic insects in unexplored Neotropical streams.

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Author Biographies

Cristian Granados-Martínez, Universidad de la Guajira
Grupo de Investigación EBET
Bladimir Zúñiga-Céspedes, Southern Illinois University
Department of Zoology and Center for Ecology
Julio Acuña-Vargas, Universidad de la Guajira
Grupo de Investigación EBET
Published
2016-03-22
Info
Issue
Section
6th National Congress of Limnology
Supporting Agencies
Universidad de La Guajira, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas y Aplicadas, Department of Biology, Research Center.
Keywords:
Aquatic insects, food item, gut content, tropical streams.
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How to Cite
1.
Granados-Martínez C, Zúñiga-Céspedes B, Acuña-Vargas J. Diets and trophic guilds of aquatic insects in Molino River, La Guajira, Colombia. J Limnol [Internet]. 2016Mar.22 [cited 2021May7];75(s1). Available from: https://jlimnol.it/index.php/jlimnol/article/view/jlimnol.2016.1396