Project Description: 

Intermittent streams are streams that only flow for part of the year and dry in summer. Aquatic insects rely on having access to water for at least some of their life cycle. In this project, we catalog species diversity of adult aquatic insects in an intermittent stream year round, even during dry months to determine the life history of different species. This project focuses on caddisflies and hellgrammites. In this study, we will link these light-trap samples to in-stream larval populations and expand the sites to a nearby permanent stream. The current phase of the project focuses on lab processing of the adult light-trap samples and continued light-trap monitoring.  We will sort the benthic macroinvertebrates from the collected material and make identifications using dichotomous keys and will be making “species notebook pages” to help rapidly identify California Caddisflies. We'll visit the field site monthly to sample.  We will also develop and install a suite of sensors to install at the sites to monitor the changing habitat conditions.

Undergraduate's Role: 

Sort and identify adult aquatic insects and other organisms from light trap samples. Work using a dissecting scope and use dichotomous and pictoral keys to identify organisms. Learn learn how to recognize freshwater aquatic invertebrates and identify organisms to the order and family level. Some fieldwork to make new collections. 

Undergraduate's Qualifications: 

Qualifications include interest in biology, particularly in freshwater systems, entomology; good organization skills, and attention to detail.  We are also looking for students who are interested in creating resources of specimen-level information from the taxonomic literature to speed adult identifications.  We enjoy working with students that are motivated to learn and seek hands-on experience in aquatic entomology. Experience with basic insect identification useful, but are not required.    

On Campus
3-6 hours
Project URL: