Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 128, Issue 4, pp 341–345 | Cite as

Thermistor telemetry of ventilation during prey capture by dragonfly larvae (Cordulegaster boltoni, Odonata)

  • T. Weber
  • L. Caillère


  1. 1.

    A technique was developed for using a thermistor to record the ventilation of freely movingCordulegaster boltoni larvae.

  2. 2.

    The thermistor recordings show that the ventilation is slow and regular during the resting phase of the circadian cycle and changes in a characteristic way during the various phases of hunting and food consumption.

  3. 3.

    The larvae respond to visual stimuli by interrupting ventilation. Thus this technique can be used as a better measure of distance and time at which a larva detects a stimulus than visual observation. By this measure,Cordulegaster larvae can detect prey objects at a distance of 10–15 cm and an illuminance of 5–10 Lux. To be effective, such stimuli must move at angular velocities of 10°/s or more; otherwise they are ignored.

  4. 4.

    Application of this method extends the range of measurable behaviour of freely moving aquatic insects. In particular, it allows one to establish conditions under whichCordulegaster larvae detect prey even before they respond with a visible movement.



Angular Velocity Visual Stimulus Food Consumption Good Measure Visual Observation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Weber
    • 1
  • L. Caillère
    • 2
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieSeewiesenFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Laboratoire des Rythmes et ComportementUniversité LyonVilleurbanneFrance

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