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Keywords:

  • Amphinemura sulcicollis;
  • diet;
  • Nemoura hesperiae;
  • ontogenetic shifts;
  • southern Europe;
  • stonefly

Abstract

Feeding habits of the Euholognathan stoneflies Nemoura hesperiae and Amphinemura sulcicollis are studied in a little stream located in northern Italy. The former fed mainly on coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM), together with detritus, while the latter fed principally on detritus and, in a lower concern, on CPOM. Thus they can be catalogued fundamentally as shredder and collector-gatherer, respectively. Shifts in diet composition were detected in relation to size in both taxa. Probably niche overlapping does not exist despite both species having similar size and nymphal development duration, and coinciding in time. This work supports that, though functional feeding groups are very useful, they should not be inferred from related species or higher taxonomical levels. Even intra-population differences and ontogenetic shifts should be considered in fine scale studies.