[dih-trahy-tuh-vawr, -vohr]
noun Ecology.
an organism that uses organic waste as a food source, as certain insects.

1975–80; detrit(us) + -i- + -vore

detritivorous [de-truh-tiv-er-uhs] , detrivorous [dih-triv-er-uhs] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
detritivore  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (dĭ-trī'tə-vôr')  Pronunciation Key 
An organism that feeds on and breaks down dead plant or animal matter, returning essential nutrients to the ecosystem. Detritivores include microorganisms such as bacteria and protists as well as larger organisms such as fungi, insects, worms, and isopod crustaceans. In a food chain, detritivores are primary consumers. Compare carnivore, herbivore.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Long-term resource limitation reduces insect detritivore growth in a headwater stream.
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