Oligophagy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Oligophagy refers to the eating of only a few specific foods. The term is usually associated with insect dietary behaviour.[1] Organisms may exhibit narrow or specific oligophagy where the diet is restricted to a very few foods or broad oligophagy where the organism feeds on a wide variety of specific foods but none other.[2]

Polyphagy, on the contrary, refers to eating a broad spectrum of foods. In the insect world it refers usually to insects that feed on plants belonging to different families.

Examples[edit]

The diet of the Yucca moths is restricted to the developing fruits of species of Yucca[2] while the sea hare, Aplysia juliana (Quoy & Gaimard), is found on and feeds only on a single alga, Ulva lactuca (Linnaeus) in East Australian waters.[3] These are both narrow oligophages. Conversely the migratory locust may be said to be broadly oligophagous or even polyphagous.[2]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Oligophagy on Dictionary.com. Accessed on 09 Jan 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Huffaker & Gutierrez Ecological Entomology, pg 201.
  3. ^ Rogers et al (1995).

References[edit]

  • Huffaker, Carl B. & Gutierrez, A. P. (1999). Ecological Entomology. 2nd Edition (illustrated). John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-471-24483-X, ISBN 978-0-471-24483-7. Limited preview on Google Books. Accessed on 09 Jan 2010.
  • Rogers, C. N.; Steinberg, P. D. & de Nys, R. (1994). Factors associated with oligophagy in two species of sea hares (Mollusca: Anaspidea). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Volume 192, Issue 1, 17 October 1995, Pages 47–73. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(95)00057-X. Abstract on ScienceDirect.com. Accessed on 09 Jan 2010.