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Related to Saprophage: Saprotroph, saprophagous, biophage, detritivores


An organism that lives on decaying organic matter.



an animal that feeds on the carcasses of other animals. Saprophages include hyenas, vultures, ravens, carrion beetles, dermestids, the larvae of blowflies and flesh flies, and certain crustaceans (especially benthic beach fleas and river crayfish). Many predators and omnivorous animals are partial saprophages. Saprophages function as cleaning agents by disposing of putrefying remains.

References in periodicals archive ?
Through their activity as microbial grazers and saprophages, the host of decomposer fauna act as gatekeepers in the cycling of material through the system (Petersen and Luxton 1982, Verhoef and Brussard 1990).
Although it possibly feeds on material in the stomach, it might use decaying resources other than carrion too (Frolov & Scholtz 2005), and therefore belongs either to the guild of obligate necrophages or opportunistic saprophages (Villet 2011).
Our data show two important issues: beetle species in the pasture extended their activity to the beginning of the dry season, while abundances dropped in the other, unirrigated zones; and the possibility that the Scarabaeinae living in neotropical forests are opportunistic saprophages and have specialized habits for resources other than dung.