Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Facultative Predators

  • R. Albajes
  • O. Alomar
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_3742

Omnivory, or trophic omnivory, is defined as the capacity of organisms to feed on more than one trophic level. True omnivory is a special case of trophic omnivory in which the consumer feeds on both plants and animal prey. The alternation of prey-feeding and plant-feeding stages during development is relatively common among animals. For example, many predatory insects feed upon plants at the adult stage by consuming floral or extra-floral nectar, pollen, seeds, plant saps and other plant materials, whereas they are carnivorous in juvenile stages. Less frequently, but not rarely, other insect predators may feed on plants and/or on prey at the same developmental stage; these are called facultative predators. The key feature that characterizes facultative predators is their capacity to feed on both plants and prey. Other closely related terms that are sometimes used to describe facultative predators are zoophytophages, phytozoophages, plant-feeding omnivores and opportunistic predators....

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Albajes
    • 1
  • O. Alomar
    • 2
  1. 1.Universitat de LleidaLleidaSpain
  2. 2.IRTACabrilsSpain