Date of Award

Summer 7-2017

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Abstract

I used Hester-Dendy multiplate samplers and stick and leaf samples to collect the aquatic insects of Granny Creek, a first-order perennial stream in southern Mississippi, on twelve sampling dates from March 2014 to June 2015. The dominant insect/invertebrate group in Granny Creek was the dipteran family Chironomidae. Forty-two distinct taxa of chironomid larvae were collected over the duration of my study. Two of the dominant chironomid subfamilies in my samples, the Orthocladiinae and the Chironominae, displayed a phenological pattern in which the Orthocladiinae were more prevalent, both in terms of number of species and in abundance of individuals, in the cooler months of the year. Conversely, the Chironominae was the dominant subfamily in my collections in the summer months. Other aquatic insect groups were also present in my samples, including seven species of stoneflies, six species of mayflies, six species of caddisflies, eleven species of beetles, five species of dragonflies, one damselfly species and two species of megalopterans, including the hellgrammite, Corydalus cornutus. All of the stoneflies collected were members of the family Perlidae; as later instars perlids are predators on aquatic insects. The stonefly species Perlesta placida, displayed an extended diapause, with nymphs present in the March and June 2014 collections, ensuring absence from samples from July 2014 through January 2015, and re-appearance in the February and March 2015 collections. The beetle family Elmidae was well represented in Granny Creek. Nine genera of elmids have been collected from Florida, seven of which had representatives in Granny Creek.

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