Adult horseflies, shown in the
figure, feed on nectar. The female flies are also able to
bite and suck the blood of animals, but male flies do not have the mouthparts to do
so. Which letter indicates the way male
and female horseflies feed?
All living things require nutrition
in order to undergo life processes like growth and reproduction. We can classify organisms according
to how they obtain this nutrition. Two of the broadest categories are
producers and consumers.
Producers make their own nutrition
using solar or chemical energy. For example, plants use
photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide and water to glucose and oxygen in the
presence of sunlight.
Consumers are not able to make
their own food but instead must eat other organisms to obtain nutrition. We can further classify
consumers. Herbivores are organisms that only
eat producers, like rabbits and caterpillars. Carnivores, such as tigers and most
spiders, only eat other consumers. They are sometimes called
predators, and the consumers that they eat are called prey. Omnivores eat a varied diet that
includes both producers and other consumers. Examples of omnivores include blue
jays and bears. Humans evolved as omnivores
too. However, in modern times, some
people choose to eat an herbivore or carnivore diet because of ethical or health
Looking back at our question, we
are told that adult female horseflies feed on both nectar and blood. Nectar is a sugary substance that
is found in flowering plants, and blood is only found in animals.
Now, pause the video and think
about how we should classify adult female horseflies. If you concluded that they would be
classified as omnivores, you are correct. This is because female horseflies
obtain their nutrition from both producers and consumers. Male horseflies lack the mouthparts
needed to bite and suck blood, so they only feed on nectar. How should they be classified? Hopefully, you identified male
horseflies as herbivores because they get all their nutrition from producers.
Taking a look at the table, we can
see that the letter that correctly indicates the feeding strategy of male and female
adult horseflies is C.