Graduate Program

Environmental Biology

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Author's Department


First Advisor

Michael Goodrich


The food habits of Stenelmis sexlineata, Stenelmis vittipennis, Stenelmis crenata, and larval Stenelmis were studied in Polecat and Riley Creeks, Coles County, Illinois. Rock Scrapings were taken and compared with the gut analyses of the larval and adult beetles. These beetles were found to be scraper/collectors and detritivore/herbivores, generally scraping surfaces of rocks. Detritus, green algae, and diatoms were found to be the major categories present in both the rock scrapings and the gut analyses. The cellular contents of diatoms (chloroplasts and other cytoplasmic inclusions) were digested by the beetles. No conclusions regarding feeding preferences are made, although it was noted that green algae make up a disproportionately large percentage of the diet. This may indicate some selective feeding or that microhabitats in which the green algae are abundant are preferred.

No evidence of resource partitioning was found on the basis of food type. However, resource partitioning may be accomplished by other means, many of which are enumerated by Seagle (1979).

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