, Volume 15, Issue 1-2, pp 87-91

Habitat differentiation and feeding strategies in water mites in Lake Maarsseveen I

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The habitat preference as regards depth and vegetation areas is discussed for a number ofPiona species.P. conglobata mainly walks over the water plants and undertakes swimming excursions of short duration from there.Arrenurus crassicaudatus is a bottom dweller.

This behaviour is related to the searching activities for preys. The main food ofA. crassicaudatus consists of ostracods.P. conglobata prefersDaphnia aboveCyclops, while forUnionicola crassipes the reverse holds true.P. conglobata andU. crassipes do not recognize ostracods as possible preys. The relative prey size greatly influences the rate of catching success.

The feeding strategies (catching behaviour, prey preferences and handling time) of these three species are discussed. Differences in these strategies are also considered in view of species diversity.