Oviposition of aquatic insects in a tropical high altitude stream.

Abstract

The persistence of aquatic insect populations in streams depends on the recruitment of larval populations from egg masses deposited by adults, especially after disturbance. However, recruitment of aquatic populations by oviposition is a process that remains unstudied in streams and rivers. The objectives of our study were to document flying and oviposition patterns of aquatic insects in a high altitude tropical stream during both dry and wet seasons. In particular we studied 1) richness and abundance of adult forms of aquatic insects flying and ovipositing; 2) number of eggs (oviposition pattern), egg mass identity, and morphology; and 3) substrate preferences by ovipositing females. We found 2,383 aquatic insects corresponding to 28 families, with dipterans representing 89% of total individuals collected. Adult insects had lower richness (28 taxa) than larval diversity (up to 52 taxa) and distinct community composition. Richness and relative abundance of most taxa (adults) were not significantly different between seasons, behaviors, diel period, or all three. During both sampling periods we found females with eggs in a total of 15 different families (13 in the dry season and 14 in the wet season). There were no significant differences in the proportion of females with eggs between seasons, diel periods, or different behaviors (flying versus ovipositing traps) of the different female taxa. Few types of egg masses were found in rocks at the stream during both seasons, and most egg masses found corresponded to families Baetidae and Chironomidae. Finally, we provide the first description of eggs masses (size, shape, color, and number of eggs per female) of gravid females (10 taxa) and those found in the stream substrate (six taxa) of Andean macroinvertebrates. This is the first study reporting oviposition, adult diversity, and oviposition patterns of aquatic insects in the Andean region.

DOI: 10.1603/EN12037

Cite this paper

@article{RosTouma2012OvipositionOA, title={Oviposition of aquatic insects in a tropical high altitude stream.}, author={Blanca R{\'i}os-Touma and Andrea C. Encalada and Narcl’s Prat}, journal={Environmental entomology}, year={2012}, volume={41 6}, pages={1322-31} }