According to a new Finnish study, different groups of insectivores compete for the same type of food. Researchers of the University of Turku and the Finnish Museum of Natural History made the discovery by comparing birds, bats and dragonflies that forage in the same area in Southwest Finland. These very distantly related predators consumed the same insect groups, such as flies, mosquitoes, and other dipterans. The results shed new light on the decline in insect populations, because a remarkable portion of insectivores may actually be in greater danger than previously believed.
The researchers at the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku are specialised in studying poorly known species habiting some of the most remote places on earth. As a result of their scientific expeditions, the researchers constantly discover species that are unknown to science. One of the most recent discoveries is a spider which was named after actor Joaquin Phoenix and his famous portrayal of the Joker character.
A study led by the University of Turku has found that small, fiercely predatory damselflies catch and eat hundreds of thousands of insects during a single summer – in an area surrounding just a single pond. In terms of weight, this equates to a total prey mass of just under a kilo. Dragonflies mostly catch different kinds of midges, but also large numbers of other insects.