Foraging by generalist grasshoppers: two different strategies Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Observations of foraging activities were conducted on two species of generalist grasshoppers that are cryptic on foliage, Schistocerca nitens and S. shoshone, which have overlapping distributions in the southwestern region of the U.S.A. Patterns of activity, feed lengths, food choice and switching between host plants were examined by continuous recording of individuals for up to 8 h each in the field. Long feeding bouts and limited locomotion were the norm in both species. Individuals often remained with one plant for most of the day, but then typically fed on more than one tissue type during an observation period. Declining feeding-bout lengths on a single species or tissue were common, as were increased feeding-bout lengths on novel foods. The data from these foliage-cryptic species contrasted with data collected previously on other species that were ground-dwelling or aposematic, and demonstrated different foraging strategies. Possible costs and benefits of the two contrasting foraging strategies are discussed.

author list (cited authors)

  • CHAMBERS, P., SWORD, G., ANGEL, J. E., BEHMER, S., & BERNAYS, E. A.

citation count

  • 30

publication date

  • July 1996