Use of chironomidae (Diptera) surface-floating pupal exuviae as a rapid bioassessment protocol for water bodies

Petra Kranzfelder, Alyssa M. Anderson, Alexander T Egan, Jane E. Mazack, R. William Bouchard, Moriya M. Rufer, Leonard C Ferrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rapid bioassessment protocols using benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages have been successfully used to assess human impacts on water quality. Unfortunately, traditional benthic larval sampling methods, such as the dip-net, can be time-consuming and expensive. An alternative protocol involves collection of Chironomidae surface-floating pupal exuviae (SFPE). Chironomidae is a species-rich family of flies (Diptera) whose immature stages typically occur in aquatic habitats. Adult chironomids emerge from the water, leaving their pupal skins, or exuviae, floating on the water’s surface. Exuviae often accumulate along banks or behind obstructions by action of the wind or water current, where they can be collected to assess chironomid diversity and richness. Chironomids can be used as important biological indicators, since some species are more tolerant to pollution than others. Therefore, the relative abundance and species composition of collected SFPE reflect changes in water quality. Here, methods associated with field collection, laboratory processing, slide mounting, and identification of chironomid SFPE are described in detail. Advantages of the SFPE method include minimal disturbance at a sampling area, efficient and economical sample collection and laboratory processing, ease of identification, applicability in nearly all aquatic environments, and a potentially more sensitive measure of ecosystem stress. Limitations include the inability to determine larval microhabitat use and inability to identify pupal exuviae to species if they have not been associated with adult males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere52558
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Volume2015
Issue number101
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 24 2015

Fingerprint

Chironomidae
Body Water
Diptera
Water Quality
Ecosystem
Water
Water quality
Sampling
Skin
Processing
Mountings
Ecosystems
Pollution
Chemical analysis

Keywords

  • Aquatic ecology
  • Aquatic systems
  • Biological monitoring
  • Chironomid pupal exuviae technique
  • Environmental sciences
  • Macroinvertebrates
  • Midge
  • Rapid bioassessment protocol
  • Water quality

Cite this

Kranzfelder, P., Anderson, A. M., Egan, A. T., Mazack, J. E., Bouchard, R. W., Rufer, M. M., & Ferrington, L. C. (2015). Use of chironomidae (Diptera) surface-floating pupal exuviae as a rapid bioassessment protocol for water bodies. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2015(101), 1-9. [e52558]. https://doi.org/10.3791/52558

Use of chironomidae (Diptera) surface-floating pupal exuviae as a rapid bioassessment protocol for water bodies. / Kranzfelder, Petra; Anderson, Alyssa M.; Egan, Alexander T; Mazack, Jane E.; Bouchard, R. William; Rufer, Moriya M.; Ferrington, Leonard C.

In: Journal of Visualized Experiments, Vol. 2015, No. 101, e52558, 24.07.2015, p. 1-9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kranzfelder P, Anderson AM, Egan AT, Mazack JE, Bouchard RW, Rufer MM et al. Use of chironomidae (Diptera) surface-floating pupal exuviae as a rapid bioassessment protocol for water bodies. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2015 Jul 24;2015(101):1-9. e52558. https://doi.org/10.3791/52558
Kranzfelder, Petra ; Anderson, Alyssa M. ; Egan, Alexander T ; Mazack, Jane E. ; Bouchard, R. William ; Rufer, Moriya M. ; Ferrington, Leonard C. / Use of chironomidae (Diptera) surface-floating pupal exuviae as a rapid bioassessment protocol for water bodies. In: Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2015 ; Vol. 2015, No. 101. pp. 1-9.
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