, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 179–183 | Cite as

Effects of zooplankton availability and foraging mode on cannibalism in three dragonfly larvae

  • Frank Johansson
Original Papers


Cannibalism is likely to operate as a form of population control in dragonfly larvae. I performed aquarium experiments to investigate the effect of foraging activity and zooplankton availability on cannibalism in three dragonfly larvae. Large Cordulia aenea larvae showed low activity, and large Leucorrhinia dubia larvae showed high activity irrespective of zooplankton availability. In contrast, large Coenagrion hastulatum larvae changed from high activity in the absence to low activity in the presence of zooplankton. Small Cordulia aenea larvae were active in the absence of large conspecifics irrespective of zooplankton availability. In the presence of large conspecifics they showed a reduced activity when zooplankton were present. Small L. dubia larvae showed high activity and small Coenagrion hastulatum larvae low activity irrespective of pressence or absence of zooplankton and large conspecifics. In all three species cannibalism was highest in the absence of zooplankton. In the absence of zooplankton cannibalism was low in Coenagrion hastulatum compared to the other two species. On the contrary, in the presence of zooplankton, cannibalism did not differ between the three species.

Key words

Cannibalism Odonate larvae Foraging mode Zooplankton availability 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Johansson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal EcologyUniversity of UmeåUmeåSweden

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