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Observations on the behavioral sequences of looping and drifting by blackfly larvae diptera simuliidae

, : Observations on the behavioral sequences of looping and drifting by blackfly larvae diptera simuliidae. Aquatic Insects 12(1): 49-60

Video equipment was used to record the behaviour of larval blackflies in a laboratory stream simulating natural current and substratum conditions. In this way it was possible to identify the following behavioural patterns associated with locomotion: 1. Landing: The first contact of drifting larvae with a new substratum was made with the mouthparts by means of a sticky secretion (silk). A "landing silk pad" was created on the substratum, with the abdomen hanging freely in the current. The abdominal hook circlet was then fixed to the new silk pad. 2. Changing the attachment site: "Looping" behaviour depended on whether the larvae were wandering across the substratum, or preparing for a long term attachment. 2.1. Wandering: Larvae moved across the substratum by displacing their mouthparts and thoracic prolegs alternately with the abdominal hook circlet. When building the "wandering silk pad" the larval body was stretched ahead and anchored by the thoracic and posterior prolegs. 2.2. Transition to the "long term attachment site" assuming a U-shaped posture, the larvae formed the silk pad directly adjacent to the original site. They attached themselves for up to several hours, generally in order to filter feed.


DOI: 10.1080/01650429009361388

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