Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 92, Issue 9, pp 431–434

The cost of being an omnivore: mandible wear from plant feeding in a true bug

  • Bernard D. Roitberg
  • David R. Gillespie
  • Donald M. J. Quiring
  • Colleen R. Alma
  • Wade H. Jenner
  • Jennifer Perry
  • Jason H. Peterson
  • Maxence Salomon
  • Sherah VanLaerhoven
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-005-0013-x

Cite this article as:
Roitberg, B.D., Gillespie, D.R., Quiring, D.M.J. et al. Naturwissenschaften (2005) 92: 431. doi:10.1007/s00114-005-0013-x

Abstract

Evolutionary and ecological transitions from carnivorous to omnivorous feeding may be constrained by the ability of the animal to cope with disparate types of foods, even if preadaptations for such behaviour exist. The omnivorous true bug, Dicyphus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) requires both animals (small, soft-bodied insects) and plants in its diet and obtains the majority of its dietary and metabolic water from plant feeding. Serrations on the lateral margins of the mandibular stylets wear with age, and this wear is exacerbated when the insects feed on plants compared to those provided free water and no plants. D. hesperus that feed on plants attack fewer prey but consumed similar amounts of prey tissue compared to individuals that were provided free water. Although others have shown mandible wear for plant-chewing animals we show for the first time that plant feeding can impose similar wear on plant-piercing animals as well.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard D. Roitberg
    • 1
  • David R. Gillespie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Donald M. J. Quiring
    • 2
  • Colleen R. Alma
    • 1
  • Wade H. Jenner
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jennifer Perry
    • 1
    • 4
  • Jason H. Peterson
    • 1
    • 5
  • Maxence Salomon
    • 1
  • Sherah VanLaerhoven
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of BiologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.Pacific Agri-Food Research CentreAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaAgassizCanada
  3. 3.Department of BiologyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of BiologyThe King's University CollegeEdmontonCanada
  6. 6.Department of BiologyUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada