Nymphal feeding habits of two Anacroneuria species (Plecoptera, Perlidae) from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia Feeding of Anacroneuria nymphs in Colombia

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Yesely M. Hurtado
Cesar E. Tamaris-Turizo *
Manuel J. López Rodriguez
J. Manuel Tierno de Figueroa
(*) Corresponding Author:
Cesar E. Tamaris-Turizo | ctamaris@unimagdalena.edu.co


The knowledge of the diet of aquatic insects is important to assess the use of resources and overlap of trophic niche between species, as well as to understand their role in the food web of the freshwater ecosystems they inhabit. This is particularly necessary in tropical areas where information on this topic is scarce. The aim of the present work is to describe the feeding habits of the species Anacroneuria marta Zúñiga and Stark, 2002 and Anacroneuria caraca Stark, 1995 in the middle section of the Gaira River (Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia). We performed three samplings during the rainy and dry seasons in the two main different microhabitats of the reach (leaf packs and gravel) in 2014. The diet of a total of 87 and 90 individuals of A. caraca and A. marta, respectively, was studied. With this information, niche breadth for each species and niche overlap between them in terms of trophic resources were calculated. The main trophic resource for both species in the dry and rainy season was the animal matter. In the dry season, FPOM was also important in the diet of A. caraca, and A. marta ingested a great quantity of CPOM in the rainy season. Larvae of Trichoptera, were the most ingested prey in both species, followed by Chironomidae, Coleoptera Hydrophilidae, and Ephemeroptera. No differences in diet between both species were detected, so this could favor the niche overlap in terms of trophic resources and could lead to competition between them. The possible ecological scenarios are discussed.

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