Selection of living grass roots in the soil by larvae of sericesthis nigrolineata (coleoptera : scarabaeidae)

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Abstract

In a laboratory study of feeding behaviour, final (third)-instar larvae of Sericesthis nigrolineata moved less in soil in the presence of dead roots than in soil alone, and less in soil in the presence of living roots than with dead roots. Larvae selectively ingested organic matter from soil with no plants but the presence of living roots produced increases in the amount of organic matter in the gut of larvae, the amount of organic matter removed from the food in the gut, the rate of ingestion and the rate of larval growth. The feeding and growth responses of larvae were not correlated with the quantity of organic matter present in the soil. It is suggested that the larvae preferentially select and feed on living roots.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1975
Externally publishedYes

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