Pflanzenreich buchenau tropaeolaceae by A. Engler

By A. Engler

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This behaviour ensures that they acquire the necessary micro-organisms for their hind-gut. But they continue to be coprophagic, albeit at a decreasing rate, for six weeks. That this is a response to a need for extra protein in their diet is revealed by studies with adult horses, which are not usually coprophagic. If, however, they are With a little help from microbes 39 kept on a diet which has just enough protein to maintain their body weight, they quickly revert to this behaviour, consuming all of their own faeces immediately after each defecation.

Adult summer aphids will quickly migrate to any such leaves and recommence breeding. There is a leafhopper that feeds on rice in Japan that does the same thing. It feeds preferentially, first on new leaves that are still expanding, and then on old leaves which are becoming chlorotic. These are the two sites where soluble amino acids become most concentrated as they are, respectively, imported to growing tissues and exported from dying tissues. Other insects which have adopted this double-dipping strategy are leafminers; those which feed on the internal tissues of a leaf while leaving the upper and lower epidermis intact.

They produce two sorts of faeces; ordinary dry ones and special ones made up of the bodies of the protozoans in the their hind-guts. They eat these special ones that contain 1400 times more protein than their ordinary faeces, which they do not eat. The females eat more of these special pellets than do the males. In fact a male gives most of his to his mate once she starts producing eggs. And when the eggs hatch both parents feed most of their protein-rich pellets to the young. A nice example not only of concentrating available protein to the production of eggs and the growth of young, but with father contributing to child-rearing to boot!

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