D0211 A survey of the mayfly (Ephemeroptera) species of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests of Western Virginia

Monday, December 13, 2010
Grand Exhibit Hall (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Christine D. Allen , Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
M. D. Meyer , OENB, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA
Erik D. Mogensen , Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science, Christopher Newort University, Newport News, VA
Freshwater habitats are often characterized by the degree of entomological diversity they support. More specifically, species of Ephemeroptera are indicative of stream health and habitat stability. Greater diversity from this insect order often represents a healthy headwater stream or aquatic ecosystem and the presence of certain species may provide information to researchers about the habitat under investigation. Because Ephemeroptera are habitat indicators and key prey items, it is important for naturalists and ecologists to have access to current records detailing which species may be found within an aquatic community. To date, no studies have been performed characterizing Ephemeroptera at the species level in the Southwestern portion of Virginia. Therefore, we collected and identified Ephemeroptera from 13 locations throughout the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Southwest Virginia during the summer months of 2008 and 2009. Nymphs were sampled with a standard kick-net and specimens were later identified in the lab using morphological keys. Seven families, 22 genera, and 44 species were identified from ten counties within three watersheds. Past studies have explored mayfly species at the regional, state, and county level. However, in the state of Virginia, research on Ephemeroptera has been limited to a single species or has encompassed all macroinvertebrates within an ecosystem, limiting mayfly identification to the generic level. This is the first comprehensive species survey of Ephemeroptera in Southwest Virginia and will provide a more detailed insight for future research concerning the freshwater ecosystems of this region.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.48670