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LRP: Aquatic Insect Sampling Partnership


Partners: USACE; Carnegie Museum of Natural History; University of Pittsburgh

Corps POC: Mike Fowles, Fish & Wildlife Specialist

Story: "This bug’s for you" describes an endeavor at the Pittsburgh District in Pennsylvania to record the type and distribution of aquatic insects at 16 reservoirs. Sampling occurred over 12 years during May-September in the river inflows and tailraces at these projects using ultraviolet light insect traps. Following analysis of the samples by the University of Pittsburgh, the insects were donated to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. Collected insects included mayflies, damselflies, stoneflies, true bugs, dobson flies, beetles, caddisflies, moths, and true flies. Over 200 species of caddisflies were found, and 35 species represented the first state records for Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Even more exciting was the discovery of four new species (Hydroptila antennopedia, H. parachelops, H. koryaki, and H. fowlesi). The overall program enabled Corps biologists to develop and update species inventories, identify "special status" species, and monitor changes in water quality. Since many species of caddisflies are excellent water quality indicators, their presence or absence is helpful in evaluating water quality at the reservoirs, and in documenting potential problems from pollutants such as acid mine drainage.

What our partners are saying: "The United States Army Corps of Engineers (Pittsburgh District) has supported our ongoing study of caddisflies in reservoir tailwaters of the upper Ohio River drainage basin...Special thanks go to Mike Fowles and Mike Koryak from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their assistance in the selection of sites, logistics of sample collection, and critical review of the manuscript." - Jan L. Sykora, Research Associate, Section of Invertebrate Zoology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

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