Indian Brook

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Streams logo web.jpg Indian Brook
Stream code:LCD_IndBrk_323
Basin:Lake Champlain Direct
State or Province:Vermont
Country:USA
Latitude:44.494762
Longitude:-73.106422
School:Colchester High School


The following are the most common invertebrates collected from this stream site.

Elmidae

Elmidae Larvae.jpg
Order
Coleoptera
Family
Elmidae


Common name
riffle beetle
We very commonly find adult and larval riffle beetles. The adults are clearly beetles, but the larvae can be confused with other orders. The forward pointing tooth on the front end of the larvae as described in the key can be a challenge to see, particularly in small individuals. Larvae are characterized by having a single tarsal claw at the end of their legs, which have 4 segments. Adults, on the other hand, have two tarsal claws at the end of each leg. Commonly encountered genera include Dubiraphia, Macroychu, Optioservus, Phanocerus, Promoresia, and Stenelmis.

Images of the adult and larval riffle beetles.

More information on Dubiraphia, Macronychus, Optioservus, Phanocerus, Promoresia, and Stenelmis.




Dicranota

Dicranota cover.jpg
Order
Diptera
Family
Tipulidae
Genus
dicranota


Dicranota can be distinguished by the two tails and their comb feet. There are usually 5 pairs of prolegs on the abdomen with combs on them. In addition, the posterior portion of the abdomen often has a slight swelling.

Image of the prolegs.




Tipulidae

Tipula cover.jpg
Order
Diptera
Family
Tipulidae


Common name
The Crane Fly
Tied fly
Gangle Legs
Like other larvae from the order Diptera, members of the family Tipulidae (crane flies) lack legs. Tipulidae have retracted, difficult-to-see head capsules at one end, and a spiracular disk at the other end. The spiracular disk can sometimes look like a face leading to some confusion about which end is which. Upon gently cutting the head open, one can see that the mandibles are not parallel to each other, but rather move against each other.

The genera we've encountered include Antocha, Dicranota, Hexatoma, Limnophila, Molophilus, Pedecia and Tipula.





Hydropsychidae

Hydropsyche.jpg
Order
Trichoptera (caddisfly)
Family
Hydropsychidae


Common name
net spinning caddisfly
Tied fly
Emergent Sparkle Pupa, Vermont Hare's Ear
This family of net-spinning caddisflies is very abundant at several sites. They are important filtering collectors and are quite common at urban and agricultural sites where particles of organic material can be important food resources. Genus-level identification is possible for mature specimens and we will include the genera we found at your site if possible.

When using the key, some features that are challenging to see are the forked trochantin and the paired sclerites in the folds between segments. Other, more easily seen key features include filamentous gills on the abdominal segments and the sclerotization of the dorsal surfaces of all three thoracic segments. Keep in mind that with smaller or more immature specimens, genus-level ID may not be possible.

Commonly found genera include Cheumatopsyche, Ceratopsyche, and Hydropsyche. Less commonly, we have found Arctopsyche and Potamyia.

Images of the forked trochantin and the paired sclerites.




Chironomidae

Chironomidae.jpg
Order
Diptera
Family
Chironomidae


Common name
Nonbiting midge
Tied fly
Griffith's Gnat
Midge larvae tend to be the most common macroinvertebrate at our sites. As with other Diptera, there are no true jointed legs. Chironomidae do have a pair of prolegs at each end and preserved individuals tend to curl into a 'C'. Identification past family requires slide-mounted heads. We have seen philopotamid caddisflies misidentified with the chironomids and we suspect that that happens when samples are being sorted from trays. Under a microscope, six prominent legs can be seen on members of the caddisfly family Philopotamidae.

More information on Philopotamidae.




Leuctra

Leuctra2.jpg
Order
Plecoptera
Family
Leuctridae
Genus
Leuctra


This family of stonefly is fairly slender by stonefly standards. The divergent wing pads are a helpful characteristic. Leuctridae are similar in overall shape to the Capniidae; however, Leuctridae often do not have pleural folds. If they are present, they only extend from abdominal segments 1-7. Leuctra are recognized by abdominal terga with posterior fringes of short hairs and last few segments with longer hairs.

Image of the divergent wing pads.




Oligochaeta

Oligochaeta.jpg



Common name
aquatic earthworms; black worms
Aquatic earthworms lack legs and are characterized by having 20 or more segments. Unlike leeches, they lack a suction disk. We collect members of two or more orders in this class as small numbers of stream sites and they are rarely numerous. They are more common at pond and lake sites.

Image of the 20 or more segments.




Psephenus

Psephenus.jpg
Order
Coleoptera
Family
Psephenidae
Genus
Psephenus


The true "water penny" is commonly found in the waters sampled. Psephenus has a rounded shape with relatively smooth edge. The false water penny, whose edges are serrated, has a more oval appearance. The gills on the ventral surface are found only in the true water pennies.

Another genus encountered in this family is Ectopria.



Ancylidae

AF 40002 D Ancylus fluviatilis b.jpg
Order
Basommatophora
Family
Ancylidae


Members of the family Ancylidae belong in the class of Gastropoda. As Pulmonate snails, these members breathe using lung-like structures but can also use a gill-like structure called a pseudobranch to extract oxygen from water. Their shallow conical shells look like those of miniature limpets.

More information on the class of Gastropoda.



Antocha

Antocha 11162010.jpg
Order
Diptera
Family
Tipulidae
Genus
Antocha


This small dipteran in the cranefly family is quite common. It is distinguished from most other dipterans we found by the 'creeping welts' that appear as prominent dark stripes along the abdomen. The dark head is usually partly exposed; however, it can be pulled back into the thoracic cavity during preservation.



Limnephilidae

Limnephilidae.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Limnephilidae


Tied fly
Paul Young's Strawman Nymph, Grouse and Orange
This family of Trichoptera is characterized by having sclerotization on the dorsal surface of the first two thoracic segments. Also, it has a dorsal hump on the first abdominal segment, along with two lateral humps. Here, on a more mature specimen, one can see the prosternal horn characteristic of it and another family Uenoidae. More information on the Uenoidae.

Images of the dorsal hump, the two lateral humps, and theprosternal horn.




Nigronia

Nigronia cover.jpg
Order
Megaloptera
Family
Corydalidae
Genus
Nigronia


Members of the genus Nigronia share some superficial commonalities with Trichoptera, but on careful inspection one can see the two pair of anal claws that help place it in the order Megaloptera. The size of mature larvae is impressive; specimens from other genera exceed 8 cm in length. The abdominal segments have ribbon-like gills on the lateral portions. The mouth has mandibles that are serrated and used for biting prey. They can be confused with the more slender whirling beetle larvae; whirligig larvae also have simpler jaws.

Images of the two pairs of anal claws, whirligig beetle larvae and their simpler jaws.




Cambaridae

Orconectes limosus - Kamberkrebs.jpg
Order
Decapoda
Family
Cambaridae


Common name
crayfish
Crayfish have forward-facing claws and resemble small lobsters. It would be difficult to confuse these organisms with anything else from a Vermont stream. Seven species in two common genera (Orconectes and Cambarus) have been collected in Vermont.



Simuliidae

Simuliidae.jpg
Order
Diptera
Family
Simuliidae


Simuliidae appear rather like bowling pins with heads. Relatively speaking, we collect few members of this family and have we have not identified them past family at this point.

Click here for a close up image of the heads.




Veliidae

Veliidae cover.jpg
Order
Hemiptera
Family
Veliidae


This family of Hempitera actually lives on the surface of the water, but can sometimes float into the net while taking benthic samples. Members of the family Veliidae are characterized by the claw of the foreleg; it is inserted before the apex. Also, its hind leg has a beautiful fan of hydrofuge hairs.

Click here to see the claw inserted before the apex and the fan of hydrofuge hairs.





Baetidae

Baetis.jpg
Order
Ephemeroptera
Family
Baetidae


Common name
Small minnow mayfly
Tied fly
Tiny blue-winged olive
This mayfly has either two or three cerci ("tails") and a unique head shape. Its gills are oval shaped and insert dorsally. Commonly encountered genera include Acerpenna, Baetis and Pseudocloeon.

More information on the genera:

Acerpenna

Baetis

Pseudocloeon




Cheumatopsyche

Cheumatopsyche.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Hydropsychidae
Genus
Cheumatopsyche


Cheumatopsyche has a forked foretrochantin (as does Ceratopsyche). The foretrochantin is the projection at the uppermost portion of the front leg closest to the head. The leg may need to be pulled away from the body to expose this feature. Cheumatopsyche have a small or inconspicuous pair of sclerites under the prosternal plate that are difficult to see. Contrast that with the larger pair of sclerites found on Ceratopsyche. To access sclerites, it's best to gently pull the pronotum and mesonotum in opposite directions. Note: the large single sclerite is the prosternal plate. Cheumatopsyche have only 2 types of hair on the abdomen: long thin plain hairs and thicker club hairs, which are narrow close to the body and widen out at the distal end. Paired sclerites on the ninth abdominal segment are notched.




Philopotamidae

Chimarra.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Philopotamidae


Common name
fingernet caddisflies
Philopotomidae are net-spinning filtering collectors. A casual observer might sort them with Chironomidae, but a close look reveals six jointed legs. The faint white 'T' shaped labrum extending from the front of the head past the mandibles is diagnostic for the family (it is sometimes withdrawn and hard to see).

Image of the faint white 'T' shaped labrum. Common genera include Dolophilodes, Wormaldia, and Chimarra.