(redirected from detritivores)
Also found in: Medical, Encyclopedia.


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 ?
According to him, cockroaches have an important role in the ecosystem, primarily as detritivores (species that consume decomposing plant and animals and other wastes), even as most people consider them disgusting creatures.
We also analyzed the specimens classified among the high faunistic values (super-dominant, dominant, super-abundant, very abundant, abundant, super-frequent, very frequent, frequent, and constant), and we found 22 (8 predators, 5 omnivores, 5 detritivores, and 4 herbivores) and 10 (5 predators, 3 omnivores, and 2 herbivores) species for organic and conventional systems, respectively.
The functional feeding groups evaluated included detritivores and herbivores, omnivores, piscivores, planktivores, benthic invertebrate consumers, surface and water column invertebrate consumers, and generalist invertebrate consumers (Goldstein and Simon, 1999).
Springtails, which are also detritivores, have a similarly rapid response with population peak (GATIBONI et al.
The four studied species show that their food items are predominantly constituted by particulate organic material, and may suggest that all of them can be classified as detritivores.
Termites are major detritivores, particularly in the subtropical and tropical regions, and their recycling of wood and plant matter is of considerable ecological importance.
Their feeding habits influence the density and activity of detritivores and fungivores, affecting the litter decomposition process (Wise et al.
Detritivores in Kenya highland streams: more evidence for the paucity of shredders in the tropics?
In terms of biomass, cockroaches are of utmost importance because of large individual body size as compared to other detritivores.
Organisms were classified into functional groups based on ecological processes that involve soil fauna: soil engineers = ants, earthworms, Isoptera; detritivores = Dermaptera, Diplopoda, Coleoptera, Blattodea, Isopoda, Acari, Diptera; herbivores = Hemiptera, Orthoptera, Lepidoptera larvae, Mollusca, Phasmatodea; and predators = Araneae, Chilopoda, Opiliones, Pseudoscorpionida, Mantodea.