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Biodiversity of aquatic insects

Riparian habitats contain a rich diversity of organisms and serve as important linkages between freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Insects are a critical component of these ecosystems because of their numerical abundance, taxonomic diversity, and trophic significance. Aquatic insects are unique in that most species cross the interface and, thus, affect energy exchange between and within freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems.

Lotic aquatic insects of northern Thailand

The project "Biodiversity of lotic aquatic insects of northern Thailand", a National Science Foundation (Biotic Surveys and Inventories) project (DEB-0103144), included inventory of all lotic insects, revisionary systematics of several taxa, the collection of ecological and distributional data for many resident species, and the construction of web-based and traditional resources for taxonomic, distributional, and ecological data.

Area of inventory

The study area included more than 100,000km2, focusing on provinces north and west of approximately 17°N and 102°E, respectively. Although several hundred streams were sampled, we focused our sampling efforts on approximately 20 intensive sites. Most were sampled monthly for 1-1.5 years, using a variety of collection methods (e.g., benthic samples for aquatic stages; black light traps, malaise traps and sweep-netting for terrestrial adults).

Selected Journal Publications

Cranston, P.S. 2003. The oriental genus Shangomyia Saether & Wang (Chironomidae: Diptera): immature stages, biology, putative relationships and the evolution of wood mining in chironomid larvae. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 51: 179-186.

Curler, G.R. and G.W. Courtney. 2009. A revision of the world species of the genus Neotelmatoscopus Tonnoir (Diptera: Psychodidae). Systematic Entomology [in press].

Published book chapters

Changthong, N. and Chantaramongkol, P. 2005. Diversity of Trichoptera larvae communities from different microhabitats and streams in Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park. pp. 77-83

in K. Tanida and A. Rossiter (editors). Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Trichoptera. Kanagawa, Japan.

Courtney, G.W. 2004. Deuterophlebiidae. pp. 763-768 in C.M. Yule and Y.H. Sen (editors). Freshwater Invertebrates of Malaysian Region. Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

Theses completed

Changthong, N. 2005. Spatial and temporal changes of Trichoptera community diversity and water quality from streams in Phu Hin Rongkla National Park. M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Biology, Chiang Mai University.

Curler, G. 2005. A review of the moth flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) of northern Thailand, with revision of world species of the genus Neotelmatoscopus Tonnoir (Psychodinae: Telmatoscopini). M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Entomology, Iowa State University.

Project personnel

Principal investigator

Dr. Greg Courtney, Iowa State University (ISU) (Taxonomic specialty: Diptera)

Co-PI's and primary collaborators

Dr. Porntip Chantaramongkol, Chiang Mai University (CMU) [Co-PI] (Taxonomic specialty: Trichoptera) Dr. Robert Sites, University of Missouri - Columbia (UMC) [Co-PI] (Taxonomic specialty: Heteroptera)

Khao Yai National Park

Namtok Heo Narok Several recent projects have focused on the biodiversity of Khao Yai National Park, a large park located about two hours northeast of Bangkok. Two of these, "Diversity of the aquatic Diptera of Khao Yai National Park, Thailand" and "Biodiversity of the Plecoptera from Khao Yai National Park" were conducted primarily by students from Kasetsart University, Bangkok, with support provided by the Royal Golden Jubilee Program (Thai Government) and Kasetsart University.

Additional sites

Chiang Mai Province, Doi Inthanon National Park - miscellaneous sites: (a) "Twin" Creeks (north of Siriphum), 18°32'N 98°30'E, 1450m; (b) Namtok Sirithan, 18°32'N 98°34'E, 900m; and (c) Huai Sai Lueng near Pagoda, 18°33'N 98°29'E, 2100m (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Lampang Province, Chae Son National Park: Namtok Chae Son, 18°50'N 99°28'E, 650m (1, 2, 3, 4)