This paper investigates the relations between the diet structure of predaceous adult water beetles from the Dytiscidae family and the structure of macrofauna inhabiting the same environments. The field studies were carried out from April until September in 2012 and 2013 in 1-mo intervals. In total, >1,000 water beetles and 5,115 benthic macro-invertebrates were collected during the whole period of the study. Subsequently, 784 specimens of adult water beetles (70.6% out of the total sampled) with benthic macro-invertebrates found in their proventriculi, were subject to analysis. The predators were divided into three categories depending on their body size: small beetles (2.3–5.0 mm), medium-sized beetles (13–15 mm), and large beetles (27–37mm). All adult Dytiscidae consumed primarily Ephemeroptera and Chironomidae larvae. Although Asellidae were numerically dominant inhabitants of the sites, the adult water beetles did not feed on them. The analysis of feeding relations between predators and their prey revealed that abundance of Ephemeroptera, Chironomidae, and larval Dytiscidae between the environment and the diet of adult Dytiscidae were strongly correlated.
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Vol. 44 • No. 5