Aquatic Insects: Why do we care? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Aquatic Insects: Why do we care?


Aquatic Insects: Why do we care? Major component of the aquatic food chain - they eat and are eaten Indicators of aquatic health pollution tolerant vs. non-tolerant ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Aquatic Insects: Why do we care?

  • Aquatic Insects Why do we care?
  • Major component of the aquatic food chain
  • - they eat and are eaten
  • Indicators of aquatic health
  • pollution tolerant vs. non-tolerant species
  • Affect human health
  • vectors for disease (malaria, encephalitis,
    yellow fever)
  • they bite you mosquitoes, gnats, blackflies,
    and biting midges (Diptera)
  • Many fishing lures modeled after them

Lentic standing water (no flow) Lotic flowing
water DO fluctuates during the day
  • How do aquatic insects deal with different O2 and
    flowing environments? (2 types of breathing
  • Aeropneustic get their oxygen from the
  • must keep in contact with the air
  • or take it with them, making repeated trips
  • have hydrofuge hairs that trap air bubbles
  • tiny hairs provide surface area for bubbles to
    attach to, forming a thin film of air called the
    plastron allows insects to breath from the air
  • Coleoptera, Hemiptera
  • the advantage of periodic contact breathing is
    that it allows the insect to dive and swim around

  • Hydropnuestic use oxygen dissolved in the water
  • cutaneous respiration (Diptera, Plecoptera)
  • occurs when the cuticle is thin enough for air to
    diffuse directly in and out for the insect
  • allows an insect to remain underwater
  • Tracheal gills
  • lamellate flat (Ephemeroptera, Odonata)
  • filamentous (Megaloptera, Plecoptera)
  • Odanata have gills within their abdomens and pump
    oxygenated water to their gills through the anus.
    Can also propel themselves by quickly jetting
    the water back out.
  • They move fast!!!

  • What about dealing with flowing water?
  • Lotic insects have morphological features to stay
  • - suckers (Diptera), hooks (Trichoptera,
  • small, flat bodies
  • sticky secretions
  • build cases (Trichoptera)

Orders you may encounter
Ephemeroptera (mayflies)
Eggs larva subimage - adult Larva elongate,
3 filaments (tail), can have 2 Lamellate gills
along abdomen Well developed legs Perpendicular
wings on adults
Plecoptera (stoneflies)
  • Same life cycle as mayflies
  • Have 2 filaments
  • No lamellate gills along abdomen
  • Some have filamentous gills
  • Adult wings are flat
  • Mostly shredders and grazers

  • Have anal prolegs with hook
  • Less visible antennae
  • Only order that makes cases
  • Adult wings down- very hairy

Trichoptera (caddisflies)
Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies)
  • Eggs larva teneral adult - adult
  • Predacious
  • No external gills
  • Longer body on damselflies (wings up)
  • Dragonflies (wings down)

Diptera (midges, mosquitoes, gnats, flies)
  • Elongate body
  • Segmented body
  • Most species rich order (includes Chironomidae)
  • Adults have one pair of wings
  • Very diverse morphology

Hemiptera (true bugs)
  • Egg nymph larva adult
  • Predacious beak
  • Wing pads
  • If wings develop they fold over each other

Coleoptera (beetles)
  • Egg larva pupa adult
  • Larva very different from adult
  • Adults have hard case on body that does not
  • Adults have chewing mouthparts
  • Larva undeveloped eyes, sometimes have tusks

Megaloptera (alder flies, dobsonflies)
  • Mouth has large, chewing pinchers (predacious)
  • Abdomen has strand-like appendages extending
    from each side
  • Three pairs of segmented legs on middle section
    of body
  • with tiny pinchers at the end of each
  • Each segment contains filaments for respiration
  • Abdomen ends with two elongated appendages or