Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


An organism, such as a bacterium, fungus, or insect, that feeds on dead plant or animal matter.

[German Detritivor : Latin dētrītus, something worn away, detritus (from past participle of dēterere, to lessen, wear away; see detriment) + Latin -vorus, eating, feeding on; see -vorous.]
References in periodicals archive ?
Differences in N content among the trophic levels of herbivore, predator, and detritivore depended on classification (Fig.
I classified insects as herbivore, predator, or detritivore with descriptions of primary diet.
BD, burrow dweller; CTD, commensal dweller in tubes of other invertebrates; DF, deposit feeder; EFDF, epistrate feeder (scrapes attached detrital or living plant or bacterial cells from individual sand grains) when living in sandy habitats, deposit feeder when living in muddy or silty habitats (Weiser 1956); M, mobile; MCOS, mobile carnivore, omnivore, or scavenger (varies by species within the family); SDSS, selective detritivore on sediment surface; SF, suspension feeder; TD, tube dweller.
In this analytical setting, EFB application clearly boosted the numbers of the soil engineer group over the 2-year study, with the detritivore and herbivore groups being temporarily enhanced during the first 6 months, whereas the predator group was virtually unaffected.
In order to estimate feeding guild assemblages, each specimen was assigned the general feeding guild categories of detritivore, herbivore or predator, based on the feeding habits reported for each taxon.
Previous surveys have revealed the presence of several culicine mosquito species including Aedes w-albus, and the predatory mosquitoes Toxorhynchites splendens from this region (1), and a few other dipteran species that dominate the detritivore trophic level of the aquatic insect communities (3,4).
As Diporeia is a benthic detritivore that was heavily fed upon by fish, this calorie-rich organism provided an efficient pathway by which energy produced and settled from the pelagic region (primary production) was cycled to upper trophic levels.
The presence of the largest known terrestrial detritivore, the gargantuan millipede-like Arthropleura, is recorded by a 23 cm wide Diplichnites trackway (Fig.
Another contributing factor to the lack of reports of dead birds may be the rapid decomposition of dead birds as a result of the heat, humidity, and detritivore foragers, such as ants.
The functional groups were the following: herbivore, detritivore, predator, parasite, omnivore, non-feeding, and unknown.
Molluscan diet codes= (H) herbivore, (O) omnivore, (D) detritivore, (HA) herbivore that feeds mostly on algae, (HD) herbivore and detritivore, (SC) scavenger, (F) filter feeder, (C) carnivore feeds on sea urchins (-urch), coral (-cor), or bivalves (-biv).