Original Research Paper

Applied Entomology and Zoology

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 511-518

First online:

Laboratory studies on larval food habits of two syntopic, related, granivorous ground beetles Amara chalcites and A. congrua (Coleoptera: Carabidae): a comparison with stable isotope analysis

  • Kôji SasakawaAffiliated withDepartment of General Systems Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo Email author 

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This study examined larval food habits of two syntopic, related, carabids Amara chalcites Dejean and A. congrua Morawitz using a laboratory-rearing experiment, and the results were compared with those of a previous stable-isotope analyses of the same species. Larvae were reared on six different diets (seeds of Capsella bursa-pastoris (Linnaeus) Medikus, Stellaria media (Linnaeus) Villars, Taraxacum officinale Weber ex Wiggers; mixed seeds; Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus larvae; and Tenebrio larvae + mixed seeds). For both species, beetles fed seed diets exhibited moderate to high survival rates, with the exception of those fed Stellaria seeds, on which A. congrua showed low survival rates. The pure-animal diet resulted in high survival rates of A. chalcites but low survival rates of A. congrua. These results were consistent with those of the isotope analysis, in which A. chalcites larvae were more carnivorous than were A. congrua larvae, and the larvae of the two species appeared to prefer different types of seeds. In contrast, the effect of diet on adult weight differed between the two methods. In the laboratory experiments, supplementing seeds with animal food during the larval stage positively affected adult weight for both species, whereas in the isotope analysis, the positive effect only occurred in A. chalcites. Possible explanations for the discrepancy between the two methods and suggestions for future research are provided.


Dietary effect Feeding ecology Food niche differentiation Granivory Laboratory-rearing experiment