Article: article from journal or magazin.
Digestibility of palm seeds and bruchids larvae by Neotropical rodents
Vertebrates show different tendencies in regard to their preference for seeds or fruits infested by insects compared to non-infested ones. Behaviour may include rejection of one type, preferential consumption of one type or no differentiation among them. When comparing infested versus non-infested fruits, most studies have focused on energy content and nutritional components of the food items; but the energy input provided to the consumer is a better measure for the comparison of the value of each type of food. In this study, I calculated the energy assimilated by rodents for the seeds of the palm Attalea butyracea contained in non-infested endocarps and from bruchid beetle larvae contained in infested endocarps. Using the energy assimilation and time of handling by rodents for both types of endocarps, I quantitatively demonstrated that both infested and non-infested endocarps produce a similar energy input. This finding is consistent with the previous hypothesis that there is a trade-off between the energy content and the time required to extract the insect larvae compared with the seeds in endocarps of Attalea butyracea.
Energy assimilation, larva, rodents, palm seeds
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