Translator Disclaimer
1 April 2015 The Ontogenetically Variable Trophic Niche of a Praying Mantid Revealed by Stable Isotope Analysis
Lawrence E. Hurd, Pieter A. P. Dehart, Joseph M. Taylor, Meredith C. Campbell, Megan M. Shearer
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Praying mantids have been shown to exert strong influences on arthropod community composition. However, they may not occupy the same trophic level throughout their lives. Trophic shifting over a life cycle could explain the documented variation in results from field studies, but specific interactions of predators within food webs have been difficult to determine simply by comparing control and treatment assemblages in field experiments. We examined the trophic position of the Chinese praying mantid, Tenodera aridifolia sinensis (Saussure), using stable isotope analysis (SIA). We measured the δ13C and δ15N of field-collected arthropods, and of laboratory groups of mantids fed known diets of these arthropods chosen from the most abundant trophic guilds: herbivores (sap feeders and plant chewers), and carnivores.We also collected mantids from the field over a growing season and compared their SIA values to those of the laboratory groups. Both δ13C and δ15N of mantids fed carnivorous prey (spiders or other mantids) were higher than those fed herbivores (grasshoppers). SIA values from fieldcollected mantids were highly variable, and indicated that they did not take prey from trophic guilds in proportion to their abundances, i.e., were not frequency-dependent predators. Further, δ15N decreased from a high at egg hatch to a low at the third instar as early nymphs fed mainly on lower trophic levels, and increased steadily thereafter as they shifted to feeding on higher levels.We suggest that the community impact of generalist predators can be strongly influenced by ontogenetic shifts in diet.

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
Lawrence E. Hurd, Pieter A. P. Dehart, Joseph M. Taylor, Meredith C. Campbell, and Megan M. Shearer "The Ontogenetically Variable Trophic Niche of a Praying Mantid Revealed by Stable Isotope Analysis," Environmental Entomology 44(2), 239-245, (1 April 2015). https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvv004
Received: 15 July 2014; Accepted: 24 December 2014; Published: 1 April 2015
JOURNAL ARTICLE
7 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

Share
SHARE
KEYWORDS
praying mantid
predator ontogeny
stable isotope
Tenodera aridifolia sinensis
trophic guild
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top