LaPlatte River at Zen

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search


Streams logo web.jpg LaPlatte River at Zen
Basin:Lake Champlain
State or Province:Vermont
Country:USA
Latitude:44.362742
Longitude:-73.209801
School:Champlain Valley Union High School


The following are the most common invertebrates collected from this stream site. This page needs some attention. We have samples from here and will work on the site shortly.

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.



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




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.




Heptageniidae

Dic 2008 F Heptageniidae.jpg
Order
Ephemeroptera
Family
Heptageniidae


Common name
flatheaded mayfly
Tied fly
Light Cahill, Wingless Pale Evening Dun
This family of mayflies can be characterized by their distinctly flattened heads and striking resemblance of the character 'Jack Skellington' from the movie 'The Nightmare Before Christmas.' This family can either have two or three cerci (tails).

Commonly encountered genera include:

Epeorus

Heptagenia

Maccaffertium

Rhithrogena




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.




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.




Brachycentrus

Brachycentrus.jpg
Order
Trichoptera
Family
Brachycentridae
Genus
Brachycentrus


Common name
The Olive Dun Caddis
Tied fly
Deer Hair Caddis
These larvae are typically found with their legs extended out of their case for feeding. The cases are square in cross section and made of plant materials. Brachycentrus has 2 large sclerites on the metanotum. In fresh samples (preserved for less than one week) these organisms often have a pale green tint; live specimens are a more vivid green.




Perlidae

Agnetina.jpg
Order
Plecoptera
Family
Perlidae


Common name
The Golden Stonefly Creeper
Tied fly
Connecticut Curler
This stonefly is characterized by the three pairs of filamentous gills located on the sides of all three thoracic segments. It is distinguished from the family Pteronarcyidae by the absence of gills on the abdominal segments. Often, the thoracic terga are brightly patterned as pictured, though this is not always the case. Another important feature is that the paraglossae and glossae extend different lengths.

Images of filamentous gills and the family Pteronarcyidae.

Genera commonly encountered in this family include Acroneuria, Agnetina, and Paragnetina. Less commonly, we have found Perlesta.

Very rarely encountered genera include Neoperla and Hansonoperla. If you believe you have found either of these, please send a specimen our way!




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.



Siphlonuridae

Siphlonuridae.jpg
Order
Ephemeroptera
Family
Siphlonuridae
Genus
Siphlonurus


Common name
The Gray Drake
Tied fly
Gold-ribbed Hare's Ear
This family has gills on all abdominal segments. The labrum does not have a deep notch, and maxillae do not have pectinate spines. They have posterolateral spines on their last abdominal segment.

Click to view the spines on the last abdominal segment, unlike those found in Baetidae.