Diet and Feeding Behavior in Adults of the Apteropanorpidae (Mecoptera)


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Abstract

The Apteropanorpidae is a small family of scorpionflies endemic to Tasmania. The biology of the family is almost completely unknown. Here we present results of laboratory and field studies of the diet and feeding behavior of adult Apteropanorpidae. We describe the morphology of the alimentary canal and mouthparts and discuss the relationship between diet, feeding behavior and morphology. We compare these results to the feeding ecology of other extant Mecoptera, and speculate on the feeding strategies of fossil Mecoptera, placing all data in a phylogenetic context. Results show that adult Apteropanorpidae are most likely saprophagous in nature, predominantly on dead and decaying invertebrates.

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