, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 326–331 | Cite as

Ecological energetics of Chaoborus in a tropical lake

  • Claudia Cressa
  • William M. LewisJr.
Original Papers


Ecological energetics of Chaoborus brasiliensis from Lake Valencia, Venezuela, were studied between February 1979 and February 1980. Direct measurements were made of the respiration rate, assimilation efficiency, and growth rate of all 4 larval instars and of the pupae. For the larval stages, respiration increased as the 0.67 power of body mass. Respiration rates of the larvae, when corrected for body size and temperature, were extraordinarily low by comparison with the rates for most aquatic insects. The respiration rates of pupae were 3 times as high as those of larvae the same size. Assimilation rates increased significantly with body size for the larvae and differed slightly but significantly among food types. Assimilation efficiencies fell within the expected range for carnivores. The growth efficiencies were exceptionally high for instars II-IV by comparison with other small aquatic organisms. High growth efficiency for Chaoborus brasiliensis, and possibly for Chaoborus generally, is explained by a very low maintenance cost and may be a significant explanation for the wide distribution and high degree of ecological success in this primary carnivore of plankton communities.

Key words

Zooplankton Energetics Predation Assimilation Respiration 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Cressa
    • 1
  • William M. LewisJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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