Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 5 Issue 2, 2003; Page No.(145-150 )

BODY MASS, FEEDING AND FOOD CONVERSION OF ARMADILLO OFFICINALIS DUMERIL AND PORCELLIO SCABER LATREILLE (ISOPODA, ONISCIDEA) FED ON THE DRY LEAVES OF CITRUS LIMONIA OR PLINICA GRANATUM

G. ACHUTHAN NAIR, KANCHAN CHOWDHURV, MAHER HAMAD HAEBA, NOUARA EL-AZIRG EL-AMMARF AND ABDELMUHSEN M. ABUSNEINA

Abstract

Laboratory studies were conducted for 21 days on the body mass, feeding and food conversion of the common woodlice of Benghazi Armadillo officinalis Dumeril and Porcellio scaber Latreille, fed on the dry leaves of lemon, Citrus limonia or pomegranate Punica granatutn. Data were furnished on the analysis of the soil of the habitats of these animals, and on the chemical compositions of the leaves given as food. A steady increase in the body mass of both species of woodlice fed on C. limonia, and a steep increase in body mass up to 14 days with a subsequent decrease thereafter for the ones fed on P. granatum, were discernible. A significant difference (P<0.05) was evident in the moisture contents of A. officinalis and P. scaber fed on the same leaf material. Higher (P<0.05) assimilation efficiencies were recorded for A. officinalis fed on C. limonia, and for P. sober fed on P. granatum. However increased gross and net production efficiencies (P<0.05) were discernible in A. officinalis fed on P. granatum, and in P. scaber fed on C. linwnia. A significant difference (P<0.05) existed between A. officinalis and P. scaber on the feeding, assimilation, conversion and metabolic rates. Both these woodlice fed on C. limonia showed the maximum efficiency for the food energy conversion and utilization, when compared with P. granatum. An inverse relationship existed between the rate of ingestion and efficiency of absorption in P. scaber fed on the two diets, but such a relationship was not apparent in A. officinalis.

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