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Foraging behaviour in a notonectid assemblage

, : Foraging behaviour in a notonectid assemblage. American Midland Naturalist, 1172: 353-361

Foraging behavior of six species of Notenecta that are locally sympatric in New England was compared in a simple laboratory arena. Time devoted to active search as opposed to sitting and waiting for prey to approach increased significantly with size and energy requirements for five of the six Notonecta species. The one exception was N. insulata, a species that swam underwater significantly more than the other species and spent more time resting than predicted for its size. Species regularly coexisting with insectivorous fishes spent significantly more time sitting on underwater perches (N. lunata) or resting motionless at the surface (N. petrunkevitchi and N. uhleri) during foraging periods than species that usually occur in habitats lacking fish. The relationships between notonectid swimming abilities, predation risks, energy requirements and foraging behavior are discussed. It is suggested that these factors place constraints on foraging behaviors that influence patterns of habitat use in notonectids.


DOI: 10.2307/2425977

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