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The CPEN Project Barbara Hayford Wayne State College.

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1 The CPEN Project Barbara Hayford Wayne State College

2 Biological Diversity Currently, just over 1 million species have been described. Some systematists estimate that between 2 and 10 million species exist. We are in a time of mass extinction. E. O. Wilson estimates that between 20,000 and 40,000 species go extinct each year. Mostly the little plants, fungi, microbes, and insects. These species disappear before we get the chance to know they even existed.

3 Chironomidae Chironomidae are non-biting midges in the Diptera order of insects. They are related to mosquitoes and crane flies. They range in size from small to very small. About 6000 species of have been described. (more than the number of mammal species) And we think 15,000 species exist.

4 The Life of a Midge Most midge larvae inhabit aquatic ecosystems. They are important in moving energy through aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. In water, they mix up substrate, helping to sequester nutrients down, And release nutrients up into the water column, for other species to use. Source:

5 Source: Taimen Project And fish find them tasty.

6 The Life of a Midge The larvae pupate and then as pupae rise to the water surface. The adults emerge out of a slit along the dorsum of the thorax. Adults use their recently discarded skins as floats. They rest and harden their wings. Bringing aquatic nutrients to the terrestrial ecosystem. Birds find them tasty.

7 Source:

8 CPEN The discarded skins are called exuviae. They float in water for up to 48 hours. And no more than 400 meters downstream from the point of emergence. They exhibit many characters of taxomic importance, Thus, the exuviae can be identified to genus, species group, or species. Providing important information on the diversity of aquatic ecosystems. And on community assemblages of midges for ecological analysis.

9 The CPEN Project It is imperative that we document as much of our remaining biological diversity as possible. Before it exits this world. Even Nebraska holds some surprises in terms of un-described species. The Chironomid Pupal Exuviae of Nebraska Project is an endeavor which seeks to document diversity of midges from Nebraska. And to analyze the community dynamics of midges from the unique aquatic ecosystems of the state.

10 Goals of CPEN To goals of the CPEN Project are: To document diversity of cold adapted chironomids, thereby increasing our overall understanding of diversity of chironomids in the state To document diversity of chironomids and the ecology of their habitats from unique stream sites around the state including streams of the Nebraska Pine Ridge, the Sandhills, and the Loess Hills. To compare communities of Chironomidae found in the steppe (high plains prairies) streams and springs of Nebraska with the steppe streams springs of Mongolia. These comparisons will be used to explore types of data necessary to establish stream and spring habitat in need of restoration or conservation.

11 Goals Today I will present information on the published and white paper diversity of midges from Nebraska. Determine the increase in diversity resulting from targeted winter collections. And make some generalizations about ecological trends in midge communities throughout the state.

12 Nebraska’s Unique Aquatic Habitats Pine Ridge


14 Nebraska’s Unique Aquatic Habitats Sand Hills Source:


16 Nebraska’s Unique Aquatic Habitats Missouri River


18 Nebraska’s Unique Aquatic Habitats Loess Hills Source:


20 Historical Data Methods To determine whether I have added any new species to the list of documented species. I had to first create a list of documented species. First, I searched through the Catalog of Nearctic Chironomidae for species listed from Nebraska. Second, I combed on-line and white paper listings of chironomids from NDEQ and CPCB.

21 Site Locations Chadron Creek was sampled from at least eight sites along its length from near its headwaters to HWY 20 during early spring of 2006 and 2007. 12 streams of the Pine Ridge were sampled during winter of 2007 and 2008, most were sampled both winters. 7 streams were sampled in the eastern Nebraska Sand Hills during late summer of 2004. A western Sand Hills lake and Hudson Meng reservoirs, located in the High Plains, were sampled summer of 2006.


23 CPEN Collections Pupal exuviae were collected following methods modified from Ferrington (1988). A 25-30 m reach is measured along a stream with representative macrohabitats. Exuviae are collected from downstream to upstream. A pan is dipped into the stream in regions where PE accumulate. The contents of the pan are poured through a fine sieve. Once the 10 minute collection is completed the specimens are preserved in the field in 80 % EtoH and labeled in the vial. The specimens were identified to lowest taxonomic level using Wiederholm (1986), Merritt and Cummins (1996, 2007) and other specific papers.

24 Analysis CPEN species were compared to documented species to determine the percent increase in species documented through this project. In particular, winter emerging species were compared to documented species to determine whether winter collections are increasing known diversity for chironomids in Nebraska.

25 CPEN Diversity Table 3. CPEN Species Diversity. PodonominaeOrthocladiinae Chironominae Parochlus kiefferiAcricotopusParametriocnemousChironomini TanypodinaeBrillia sp. 1Parametriocnemus sp. 1Polypedilum AblabesmyiaBrillia sp. 2Parametriocneums sp. 2Polypedilum braseniae ConchapelopiaCardiocladiusPsectrocladius (P) sordiellus gr. Polypedilum simulans GuttipelopiaChaetocladius dentiforceps groupPsectrocladius (P) limbetellus gr.Saetheria LabrundiniaChaetocladius M/LMSParaphaenocladiusStictochironomus LarsiaChaetocladius M/LMSParorthocladiusStictochironomus sp. 1 MeropelopiaCorynoneuraRheocricotopus (Psilocricotopus)Stictochironomus sp. 2 NatarsiaCricotopusRheosmittiaXenochironomus sp. NilotanypusCricotopus (Isocladius)ThienemanniellaZavreliella ParamerinaCricotopus cylindraceus (Kieffer)Tvetenia Pseudochironomini PentaneuraCricotopus festivellus (Kieffer)Orthocladiinae genus nr. PseudosmittiaPseudochironomus ProcladiusDiplocladius Chironominae Tanytarsini Procladius (Holotanypus) clear Eukiefferilla brehmi groupChironomini Cladotanytarsus mancus gr. Procladius (Holotanypus) pigmented GymnometriocnemusChironomusMicropsectra RadotanypusHeleniellaCladopelmaParapsectra Tanypus sp. 1Heterotrissocladius maeari groupCladotanytarsusParatanytarsus Tanypus sp. 2Hydrobaenus Crypotochironomus Paratanytarsus sp.1 Thienemannimyia gr.LimnophyesCryptotendipesParatanytarsus sp. 2 ZavrelimyiaLopescladius (Cordiella) hyporheicusCyphomellaRheotanytarsus DiamesinaeMetriocnemusDicrotendipesStempellinella DiamesaNanocladius Endochironomus sp. gr. A Tanytarsus ProdiamesinaeNanocladius (Nanocladius) andersoni Glyptotendipes sp gr. A Tanytarsus (Nimbocera) OdontomesaNanocladius (N.) balticus Glyptotendipes sp gr. B Tanytarsus gregarius gr. Sp. 1 ProdiamesaNanocladius (Nanocladius) spiniplenusLauterborniella agrayloidesTanytarsus mendax gr. Sp. 1 Orthocladius (Orthocladius)Microtendipes pedellus gr.Tanytarsus mendax gr. Sp. 2 Orthocladius (Euorthocladius) sp. Parachironomus arcuatus gr. ParakiefferiellaParacladopelma 99 species were documented from CPEN collections

26 Historical Data Results Table 1. Published records of chironomds from Nebraska Ablabesmyia (Ablabesmyia) parajanta Roback Limnophyes recisus Saether Acricotopus nitidellus (Malloch)Lymnophyes immucronatus Saether Beckidia tethys (Townes)Micropsectra sp. A Chernovskiia amphitrite (Townes) Nanocladius (Nanocladius) distinctus (Malloch) Chernovskiia orbicus (Townes)Nanocladius (Nanocladius) rectinervis (Kieffer) Chironomus (Chironomus) decorus Johannsen Nanocladius Nanocladius anderseni Saether Chironomus cf. stigmaterusNanocladius Nanocladius balticus Cladopelma Nanocladius Nanocladius crassicornus Saether Coelotanypus concinnus (Coquillett)Nilothauma CorynoneuraOrthocladius cf frigidus Cricotopus (C) tristusParachironomus Cricotopus (C) vierriensisParacladius Cricotopus (C.) bicinctusParacladopelma Cricotopus (I) brevipalpisParakiefferiella Cricotopus (I) sylvestrisParamerina smithae (Sublette) Cryptochironomus nr rolliParatanytarsus sp. Cyphomella cornea SaetherParatendipes Cyphomella gibbera Saether Pentaneura Diamesa heteropus (Coquillett)Polypedilum sp. Diamesa mendotae MuttkowskiProcladius Dicrotendipes Psectrocladius elatus Roback Diplocladius cultriger KiefferPseudochironomus sp. Eukiefferiella claripennisRheotanytarsus Eukiefferiella coerulescensRobackia claviger (Townes) KiefferulusTanypus (Apelopia) nubifer Coquillett Labrundinia neopilosella Beck and Beck Tanypus (Tanypus) concavus Roback LarsiaTanytarsus cf. mendax Telopelopia okoboji (Walley) Thienemanniella 56 species documented from Nebraska based on published records. CPEN project documented 51 additional species, nearly doubling known diversity for the state. Winter sampling alone increased known diversity for chironomids by 78%.

27 Historical Data Results Table 3. Chironomids of Nebraska Documented from Published and White Paper Sources. AblabesmyiaDicrotendipes neomodestusParametriocnemus Ablabesmyia (Ablabesmyia) parajanta Roback Diplocladius cultriger Kieffer Paraphaenocladius Acricotopus nitidellus (Malloch) Endochironomus Paratanytarsus sp. Alotanypus Eukiefferiella claripennisParatendipes Apsectrotanypus Eukiefferiella coerulescensPentaneura AxarusEuryhapsisPhaenopsectra Beckidia tethys (Townes)GlyptotendipesPolypedilum convictum BrilliaHarnischiaP. fallax ChaetocladiusHeleniellaP. halterale Chernovskiia amphitrite (Townes) HeterotrissocladiusP. illinoense Chernovskiia orbicus (Townes) HydrobaenusP. Laetum Chironomus Kiefferulus P. scalaenum Chironomus (Chironomus) decorus Johannsen Labrundinia neopilosella Beck and BeckP. simulans Chironomus cf. stigmaterusLarsia P. tritum Cladopelma Limnophyes recisus Saether Procladius Cladotanytarsus Lymnophyes immucronatus Saether Prodiamesa ClinotanypusMicropsectra sp. A Psectrocladius elatus Roback Coelotanypus concinnus (Coquillett) Microtendipes Pseudochironomus sp. Conchapelopia Nanocladius (Nanocladius) distinctus (Malloch)Pseudorthocladius CorynoneuraNanocladius (Nanocladius) rectinervis (Kieffer) Pseudosmittia Cricotopus Nanocladius Nanocladius anderseni SaetherRadotanypus Cricotopus (C) tristusNanocladius Nanocladius balticus Rheocricotopus Cricotopus (C) vierriensis Nanocladius Nanocladius crassicornus Saether Rheotanytarsus Cricotopus (C.) bicinctus Natarsia Robackia claviger (Townes) Cricotopus (I) brevipalpis NilotanypusSaetheria Cricotopus (I) sylvestrisNilothauma Stenochironomus Cricotopus fuscusOdontomesaStictochironomus Cricotopus tremulusOrthocladiusSublettea Cricotopus tricinctus Orthocladius cf frigidusTanypus (Apelopia) nubifer Coquillett Cricotopus trifasciaOrthocladius obumbratus Tanypus (Tanypus) concavus Roback Cryptochironomus fulvusPagastia Tanytarsus cf. mendax Cryptochironomus nr rolliParachironomusTelopelopia okoboji (Walley) Cryptotendipes ParacladiusThienemanniella Cyphomella cornea SaetherParacladopelma Thienemannimyia Cyphomella gibbera Saether Parakiefferiella Tvetenia Diamesa heteropus (Coquillett) ParalauterborniellaTvevenia bavarica Diamesa mendotae Muttkowski ParalimnophyesXenochironomus DicrotendipesParamerina smithae (Sublette) Zavrelimyia 114 species have been documented in published and white paper records. CPEN increased known diversity 17%, but winter collections only Increased diversity by 4%.

28 Table 4. Known Diversity of Chironomids from Nebraska AblabesmyiaEndochironomusParametriocneums sp. 2 Ablabesmyia (Ablabesmyia) parajanta Roback Eukiefferiella claripennis Paraphaenocladius Acricotopus nitidellus (Malloch)Eukiefferiella coerulescens Parapsectra AlotanypusEuryhapsis Paratanytarsus sp. ApsectrotanypusGlyptotendipesParatanytarsus sp. 2 Axarus Glyptotendipes sp gr. BParatendipes Beckidia tethys (Townes)GuttipelopiaParochlus kiefferi BrilliaGymnometriocnemusParorthocladius Brillia sp. 2Harnischia Pentaneura CardiocladiusHeleniellaPhaenopsectra ChaetocladiusHeterotrissocladiusPolypedilum convictum Chaetocladius dentiforceps groupHydrobaenusP. fallax Chaetocladius M/LMS Kiefferulus P. halterale Chernovskiia amphitrite (Townes) Labrundinia neopilosella Beck and BeckP. illinoense Chernovskiia orbicus (Townes)Larsia P. Laetum ChironomusLauterborniella agrayloidesP. scalaenum Chironomus (Chironomus) decorus Johannsen Limnophyes recisus SaetherP. simulans Chironomus cf. stigmaterusLimnophyes immucronatus Saether P. tritum Cladopelma Lopescladius (Cordiella) hyporheicus Procladius CladotanytarsusMetriocnemusProdiamesa ClinotanypusMicropsectra sp. A Psectrocladius elatus Roback Coelotanypus concinnus (Coquillett) MicrotendipesPsectrocladius (P) limbetellus gr. Conchapelopia Nanocladius (Nanocladius) distinctus (Malloch) Pseudochironomus sp. CorynoneuraNanocladius (Nanocladius) rectinervis (Kieffer) Pseudorthocladius Cricotopus Nanocladius Nanocladius anderseni SaetherPseudosmittia Cricotopus cylindraceus (Kieffer) Nanocladius Nanocladius balticus Radotanypus Cricotopus festivellus (Kieffer) Nanocladius Nanocladius crassicornus SaetherRheocricotopus Cricotopus (C) tristus Nanocladius (Nanocladius) spiniplenus Saether 1977Rheosmittia Cricotopus (C) vierriensis Natarsia Rheotanytarsus Cricotopus (C.) bicinctus Nilotanypus Robackia claviger (Townes) Cricotopus (I) brevipalpisNilothauma Saetheria Cricotopus (I) sylvestris OdontomesaStempellinella Cricotopus fuscusOrthocladiusStenochironomus Cricotopus tremulus Orthocladius cf frigidus Stictochironomus Cricotopus tricinctusOrthocladius obumbratusSublettea Cricotopus trifasciaOrthocladiinae genus nr. Pseudosmittia Tanypus (Apelopia) nubifer Coquillett Cryptochironomus fulvusOrthocladius (Euorthocladius) sp. Tanypus (Tanypus) concavus Roback Cryptochironomus nr rolli Pagastia Tanytarsus cf. mendax Cryptotendipes Parachironomus Tanytarsus (Nimbocera) Cyphomella cornea SaetherParacladiusTelopelopia okoboji (Walley) Cyphomella gibbera Saether ParacladopelmaThienemanniella Diamesa heteropus (Coquillett)Parakiefferiella Thienemannimyia Diamesa mendotae Muttkowski ParalauterborniellaTvetenia Dicrotendipes ParalimnophyesTvevenia bavarica Dicrotendipes neomodestus Paramerina smithae (Sublette) Xenochironomus Diplocladius cultriger Kieffer ParametriocnemusZavreliella Zavrelimyia

29 Discussion Adding documented diversity from white paper reports, Increased the spatial range of sites over the published records. Temporal range of sampling was less effective at adding documented diversity than was spatial range. Of course, the species lists need to be published! White papers need to be submitted for publication. I need to publish my research to add to documented diversity of Chironomidae. ?

30 Discussion Next step? Map known sites and add more sites. Regions with little sampling? Small loess hills streams, spring brooks flowing into the Niobrara. Cold springs in the eastern part of the state.

31 Community Composition Chadron Creek is an intensively sampled sub part of the Pine Ridge study region. Both Chadron Creek and general Pine Ridge sites were dominated by orthocladine midges, followed by chironomine midges. The both had a high proportion of prodiamesine and diamesine midges. And displayed greater diversity of subfamilies than did sites from the other regions.

32 Community Composition The sites from the Nebraska Sand Hills represent a different region, but also a different season (summer). Note the increase in chironomine midges. Orthocladine midges are still relative dominant. Both groups contained many psammonphilic genera.

33 Community Composition The lakes represent a Sand Hills lake and Hudson Meng Reservoir. Both were also sampled in summer. Chironomine midges tend to dominate lentic habitat, and these lakes are no exception. Tanypodine midges also are more abundant in lakes. The difference in community between these sites and the others in this study is due to differences between lotic and lentic communities.

34 Future Plans Well... Publish, of course. Current projects include sampling of many of these sites from different seasons, New sites have been added from the Nebraska Sand Hills, Plus 12 new sites in the Verdigris/Bazile creek watersheds, With an increase in collection of ecological data. All samples are now being sorted. Data worthy of analysis worthy of publication should be completed by winter of 2010.

35 Acknowledgments This research was conducted under the auspices of: Chadron State College, AEAL of UC Davis, Wayne State College And was funded by grants from: WSC, CSC, NSF, NEpSCOR, USFS, With the permission and assistance from: Nebraska Game and Parks, USFS, and numerous land owners. And with the help of many undergraduate students, including: Ruby Anderson, Jason Lucas, Sarah Blood, Jamie Bachmann, Erin Kucera, Cassidy Goc, Lisa Rech, Jessica Wimmer, Brent Herdlicka, CSC P3 team and many other students.

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