The number of tadpoles consumed by the nymphs of the giant water bug Kirkaldyia deyrolli under laboratory conditions
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Giant water bug Kirkaldyia (=Lethocerus) deyrolli (Belostomatidae: Heteroptera) nymphs consume many individuals of anuran larvae (tadpoles) before they reach adulthood. However, no quantitative data on the number of tadpoles consumed have been made available until now, despite the importance of this data for the conservation of this species. The number of tree frog, Hyla japonica (Hylidae: Anura), tadpoles consumed by nymphs of K. deyrolli was examined under laboratory conditions. The number increased according to the developmental stage of the nymphs; the fifth instar nymphs were the highest consumers. The total numbers consumed by the nymphs throughout development were 155.0 ± 12.8 (average ± SD) and 172.8 ± 9.6 for the males and the females, respectively. Thus, it might be important to maintain high densities of frogs in fields to conserve the population of K. deyrolli into the future.
KeywordsHeteroptera Belostomatidae Kirkaldyia (=Lethocerus) deyrolli Hyla japonica Prey
I wish to thank Prof. F. Nakasuji of Okayama University for his continuous support of this work. I wish to acknowledge valuable comments and discussion with Dr. P. Goodwyn of Kyoto University, and Dr. T. Seko of National Agricultural Research Center for Western Region. Thanks are also due to two anonymous reviewers who offered helpful suggestions. This study was partly supported by a grant from the Zoshinkai Fund for the Protection of Endangered Animals.
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