Diverse mechanisms of feeding and movement in Cyclorrhaphan larvae (Diptera) - NMS Research Repository
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Journal article

Diverse mechanisms of feeding and movement in Cyclorrhaphan larvae (Diptera)

26 February 2015


Direct observation, filmed behaviour and morphological analysis were used to investigate mechanisms of larval feeding and movement in 20 species of Cyclorrhapha (Diptera). Feeding mechanisms refer to techniques of gathering food close to the pharynx entrance prior to sucking it in. A total of 12 mechanisms were recorded. Contrasting mechanisms were associated with saprophagy, phytophagy, mycophagy and zoophagy. Larvae had role-specific, compartmentalised bodies. The rear compartment grips substrates enabling the front ones to scan for food by sweeping from side to side or up and down. The front compartments extend or lunge to gather food or grip substrates during locomotion. Lower cyclorrhaphans had more disparate mechanisms than higher cyclorrhaphans. In the latter, the size, shape and movements of the thorax, pseudocephalon and head skeleton are diverse. Influences on this diversity are food quality and access conditions at development sites. Movement capabilities and functions were established for many components.


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