Selective predation by Lestes (Odoiiata, Lestidae) on littoral microcrustacea


Two experimental approaches were used to examine the predation risk of six littoral cladoceran and ostracod species to two size classes of the damselfly Lestes sp. Behavioural observations were conducted in a 2–1 arena and predation rate experiments in 1–1 jars in the laboratory. Behavioural observations revealed that attack and capture efficiencies by Lestes were higher on smaller cladocerans (Polyphemus and Ceriodaphnia) than on other taxa. Small Lestes had little success ingesting the small ostracod Cypridopsis, whereas larger Lestes captured and ate it easily. Predation‐rate experiments showed that Lestes has a clear preference for smaller cladocerans over both a large cladoceran Simocephatus and all three ostracods (Cypricercus, Cyclocypris, and Cypridopsis). Most Lestes were unable to consume the larger Cypricercus. Attack rates and predation rates were highly variable among individual predators. These data indicate that damselfly larvae are size selective and consume all but very large cladocerans more readily than ostracods.



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John E. Havel's affiliation was incorrectly stated in the original article. An erratum correcting this error appeared in Freshwater Biology 29, no. 3 (1993): 490. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.1993.tb00783.x



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Freshwater Biology