Biology of certain Chironomidae reared from Potamogeton

TitleBiology of certain Chironomidae reared from Potamogeton
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1950
AuthorsBerg CO
JournalEcological Monographs

1. Biological data on 9 species of Chironomidae reared from plants of the genus Potamogeton in Michigan are presented. 2. The larvae are classified into 3 groups on the basis of their feeding habits. 3. Methods of collecting, culturing, and observing the larvae are explained. 4. Feeding methods of larvae, modes of hibernation and other seasonal aspects, larval instars, location and activities of pupae, and emergence are discussed in some detail. 5. Group 1, the leaf miners, includes Cricotopus elegans Johannsen and C. flavipes Johannsen, both of which were described from specimens reared in this investigation. These larvae make linear mines between the 2 epidermal layers of the leaves, extending them almost continuously as they feed on mesophyll tissue. 6. Group 2, comprises leaf channelers and other larvae which feed on one epidermis and the mesophyll layer of leaves but usually leave the other epidermis intact. It is represented by Cricotopus trifasciatus (Panzer), Polypedilum (Polypedilum) illinoense (Malloch), and P. (P.) ophioides Townes. 7. Group 3, the net-spinning plankton eaters, contains Glyptotendipes (Phytotendipes) lobiferus (Say), G. (Glyptotendipes) dreisbachi Townes, and Polypedilum (Pentapedilum) sordens (Wulp), all of which live in short burrows in stems and petioles, and Tanytarsus (Endochironomus) nigricans (Johannsen), which spins its silken tubes within rolled or folded leaves. 8. Larvae of Group 3 feed on plankton filtered from the water as it passes through conical silken nets spun across the tubes lining their burrows. Periodically, each larva devours net and contents, spins a new net, and resumes rhythmic undulations of the body which produce a current through the net. 9. Duration of various phases in the sequence of feeding activities of Group 3 larvae and speed of passage of particulate matter through the alimentary tract are recorded. Defecation apparently occurs only between certain phases in the cycle of feeding activities. 10. Immature stages of 5 species are figured and described for the first time.