Glyptotendipes paripes Edwards midge larval growth, development, survival, emerging adult size, and food digestibility when provided with six species of algae as food were studied in the laboratory. For the study, eggs from G. paripes adults maintained in the laboratory were reared to the adult stage at 30°C for 60 d on pure culture of each algal species at densities of 0.4, 0.1, and 0.02 mg of algae (fresh weight) per milliliter, as a sole food source. All larvae reared on Microcystis sp., Botryoccocus braunii, and Scenedesmus quadricauda died before completing development. The only larvae to complete development to adult were those reared on 0.4 mg/ml Lyngbia cf. aeruginosa (44.0 d), Anabaena flos-aquae (29.7 d), and Chlorella keslerii (44.8 d). No significant differences in body size of the adults achieving complete development on the three algal species were found. Algal digestion, measured by comparing amounts of live and dead algal cells in remains of cultures used for feeding and in larval excrement, revealed that >95% of all L. cf. aeruginosa, A. flos-aquae, and Microcystis sp. cells were digested; for C. keslerii, 13% of cells were digested, whereas little or no digestion of B. braunii and S. quadricauda was observed. To evaluate the effects of algal species on larval growth, laboratory-reared (on artificial food) late third/early fourth instars of G. paripes were fed individual algal species, and 10 d later, body mass changes were recorded and compared with nonfed larvae. Body mass of larvae reared on L. cf. aeruginosa and A. flos-aquae significantly increased, whereas those provided Microcystis sp. and the nonfed larvae showed significant body mass reductions. Overall, B. braunii and S. quadricauda were not suitable as larval food, probably due to their low digestibility, and Microcystis sp. because of its toxicity. This study identifies some algae that do and others that do not support G. paripes larval growth. The information is useful in understanding the feeding habits of G. paripes larvae as some of these algae occur in the larval environments of this pestiferous midge.
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Vol. 97 • No. 6