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Revista Brasileira de Entomologia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9665


RIBEIRO, Cássio da Silva  and  VON ZUBEN, Cláudio José. Nutritional ecology of blowflies (Diptera, Calliphoridae): estimates of critical larval weight for pupation on two different. Rev. Bras. entomol. [online]. 2010, vol.54, n.4, pp.661-664. ISSN 1806-9665.

Under natural environmental conditions, blowflies utilize discrete and ephemeral feeding resources such as decaying carcasses. Competition for food on such feeding substrates is usually very severe, and only the individuals that are capable of attaining the critical larval weight for pupation will be able to survive. This critical weight is hitherto unknown for several blowfly species; therefore, the current work is aimed at obtaining such a critical value for four blowfly species of the genera Chrysomya and Lucilia, deploying two types of feeding substrate, namely, artificial diet and macerated bovine meat. On the whole, the critical weights ranged from 30 to 35 mg. The lowest larval weight which permitted pupation was 30.0 mg for Chrysomya megacephala reared on macerated bovine meat. This species was also the best adapted to pupation at low larval weights in relation to the maximum larval weight for males. Regarding the pupation of females, the best-adapted individual was a C. albiceps specimen exhibiting a critical weight that was equal to 39.20 % of the maximum value obtained. Concerning all the species and diet types, the female individuals exhibited the lowest critical weights that produced viable pupae, probably representing an evolutionary strategy that favoured the survival of females, responsible for the egg formation, contributing to the establishment of future generations. Regarding the loss (in percentage) of adult biomass in relation to the third instar larvae, the females of C. megacephala lost less weight than males in both feeding substrates. On the other hand, such a loss of weight occurred in males of C. albiceps and L. cuprina.

Keywords : Calliphorids; competition; food; larvae; minimum weight.

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