Comparison of Iso-enzyme Electrophoresis and Gut Content Examination for Determining the Natural Diet of the Groundbeetle Species Abax ater (Coleoptera: Carabidae)
Walrant, Alain; Loreau, Michel
A comparative study between iso-enzyme electrophoresis and gut content examination under the microscope was conducted to assess the natural diet of the groundbeetle species Abax ater Villers 1789. The results of the 2 methods were often different: (a) They did not always detect meals in the same individuals; their detection power (ability to reveal a meal), however, was similar. (b) The microscopic method had a distinctly higher identification power (ability to identify the prey detected) than had electrophoresis. On the other hand, the precision of the identification was often better in the electrophoretic method. Despite these differences, the number of contradictory identifications was very low. It is concluded that iso-enzyme electrophoresis is a promising method for diet analysis more especially in predators which are more specialized than Abax ater, and which do not present multiple predation.