Feeding habits, fine structure and microhabitat preference of Euthyplocia hecuba (Hagen, 1861) (Ephemeroptera: Euthyplociidae) nymphs from Honduras
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The Euthyplociidae are a tropical and subtropical Ephemeropteran group. The aim of this study was to augment knowledge on some aspects of the biology and ecology of Euthyplocia hecuba (Hagen, 1861) nymphs. Mayflies were collected in the Rio El Padre, located on the Caribbean slope of Honduras. Diet, microhabitat preference and some fine morphological aspects of the nymphs were examined. E. hecuba nymphs are very specialised organisms that occupy a specific ecological niche in the lotic/benthic community. Immature stages show an evident preference for life in soft and fine substrata. They are detritivorous burrowers that ingest large amounts of fine particles deposited by river flow in sedimentation areas. They show peculiar morphological adaptations for life in this particular substratum, such as mouthparts modified for digging and collection of fine organic sediments, digging legs with shovel-like tibiae and massive femora, and filamentous gills.
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Stefano Fenoglio, Tiziano BO, University of Piemonte Orientale, Department of Life and Environment Science, Via Bellini 25, 15100 Alessandria, Italy