Larval feeding and growth rate of the stream cranefly Tipula abdominalis in gradients of temperature and nutrition

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Vannote, R.L., and B.W. Sweeney. 1985. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 137:119–128.

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T. abdominalis is univoltine in White Clay Creek (WCC), Pennsylvania. Eggs are deposited in late August and hatch in approximately 10 days. Larvae feed on leaves through the winter, complete growth by May, and burrow into the stream bottom sediments. They remain buried in a diapause-like state until late July, when they leave the stream and burrow into the stream bank to pupate. Larvae are selective feeders when given a choice of leaf species. Larval growth rates were highest on the most preferred leaf species (e.g. hickory, maple, American chestnut) and lowest on the least preferred species (e.g. American beech, white oak, red oak). High growth rates were due to increased consumption rather than high food conversion efficiency. Larvae were reared from November to April on five separate diets (hickory, white ash, red oak, American beech, and chestnut oak leaves) at each of three temperature regimes (ambient WCC, WCC + 3°C, WCC + 6°C). Growth rates on hickory and white ash were about two times higher than for the other diets. The relationship between temperature and growth rate depended on diet. Overall net growth efficiency and food conversion efficiency were 22.5 and 7.5% respectively for the creek population. Males and females require about 1.3 and 2.3 g of leaf litter respectively to complete development from first instar to adult.