Influence of velocity and food availability on catchnet dimensions of Neureclipsis bimaculata (Trichoptera: Polycentropodidae)

Robert C. Petersen, Lena B. M. Petersen, J. Bruce Wallace

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Larvae of Neureclipsis bimaculata (Trichoptera: Polycentropodidae) construct elaborate catchnets in lotic habitats to trap small drifting invertebrate prey. Three populations located at two oligotrophic and one eutrophic site were studied in southern Sweden. Measurements were made of larval weight, net size, seston quality and quantity, and stream velocity.

Neureclipsis larvae alter their net dimensions in response to both velocity and seston concentration. This was determined by comparing net structure and seston at the three locations. Larvae from the eutrophic, high quality seston site attain a significantly (P < 0.001) heavier instar V dry weight, spin a smaller catchnet, filter a volume of water dependent on body size, and slightly alter their catchnet dimensions with velocity. Larvae from the two oligothrophic sites are significantly smaller than those from the eutrophic site, spin a larger net at comparable velocities, filter a larger volume of water at comparable weights, and alter net dimensions with velocity.Estimates of silk production indicate that the net cost is minimized by spinning a very fine silken strand and by adding silk over a period of time. The cost while large is offset by a large capture rate of prey.

The structure of Neureclipsis nets appears to be the result of a trade-off between maximizing food capture and minimizing hydraulic stress on the net.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-389
Number of pages9
JournalHolarctic Ecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Ecology (10611)


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