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|Title:||Food intake, conversion efficiency, and feeding behaviour of tobacco hornworm caterpillars given artificial diet of varying nutrient and water content|
|Citation:||Physiological Entomology, 1988; 13(3):303-314|
|W. A. Timmins, K. Bellward, A. J. Stamp and S. E. Reynolds|
|Abstract:||Fifth stadium tobacco hornworm caterpillars, Manduca sexta (L.), given artificial diet diluted to varying extents with either cellulose or water compensated for the food's reduced nutrient content by eating more of it. This compensation was, however, in most cases not sufficient to maintain normal growth rates. When the water content of the diet was reduced, the insects ate less than the usual fresh weight of food but maintained their intake of nutrients. Nevertheless, growth rate was impaired. The insects were better able to compensate for dilution of their food with water than with cellulose. The efficiency of conversion of ingested food (ECI) was decreased when the diet was adulterated with cellulose. At moderate dilution (50% nutrient) this was due mostly to decreased approximate digestibility (AD), but at greater dilution (25% and 10% nutrient content) the efficiency of conversion of digested food (ECD) was decreased. ECI was maintained when the water content of the diet was increased to give 50% nutrient concentration, but was decreased when water content was changed more radically (200%, 25% and 10% nutrient diets). This was due mostly to increased metabolic costs (decreased ECD) in all cases. The retention time of food in the gut was progressively decreased (i.e. speed of passage was increased) as nutrients were replaced by cellulose. By contrast, dilution of the diet with water resulted in only slight changes in retention time, except at extreme dilution (10% nutrient content) when retention time was reduced. Compensation of food intake was achieved by spending more (or less) time eating. Video analysis of feeding behaviour showed that there were significant changes in the length of feeding bouts and of interfeed gaps when caterpillars fed on diets of altered composition. For diets diluted with cellulose, changes in bout length and bout frequency contributed substantially to the increased time spent feeding on the adulterated food. For diets diluted with water, however, almost all of the compensatory change in behaviour was due to increased bout length, with bout frequency affected only slightly. This suggests that volumetric feedback contributes principally to the termination of feeding bouts in caterpillars, while nutrient flow may affect both the initiation and termination of feeding.|
|Rights:||Copyright status unknown|
|Appears in Collections:||Agriculture, Food and Wine publications|
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