Freshwater fauna

Factsheet: Various amphibious aquatic insects are usually used for the investigation of running waters. Stoneflies, caddisflies, mayflies and various groups of true flies spend their larval stage under water. The adult, flying insects, on the other hand, spend a short life span outside the water to reproduce. The larvae often have highly specific habitat requirements and are therefore ideally suited to assess the ecological status of a water body. For South Tyrol, around 60 species of stoneflies, 80 species of caddisflies and 20 species of mayflies have been identified so far. In addition, there are several hundred species of true flies with amphibian life cycles.

Methods: For each sampling occasion at each site, we randomly collect 10 Surber samples (0.0506 square meters, mesh size 500 µm) covering all the main substrate typologies present, that were previously examined and estimated. All samples will be labelled and identified in the laboratory.

Alberto Scotti and Roberta Bottarin collecting Surber samples

The collected samples are afterwards preserved and identified in the lab

The samples are preserved in the field in ethanol

A larva of mayfly (family Heptageniidae)