, Volume 230, Issue 1, pp 31–36 | Cite as

The water velocity preferences of Austrosimulium furiosum and Simulium ornatipes (Diptera: Simuliidae) larvae, and the implications for micro-habitat partitioning

  • P.A. Horne
  • G. Bennison
  • J. Davis


The aquatic larvae of two simuliid species, Austrosimulium furiosum (Skuse) and Simulium ornatipes Skuse, which often occur together in Victorian streams, were shown in laboratory experiments to have preferences for different water velocities: larvae of A. furiosum preferred water velocities of 0.2–0.3 m s−1, and S. ornatipes preferred water velocities of 0.9–1.3 m s −1 . Final instar larvae of both species selected ‘slow’ water speeds of less than 0.25 m s −1 prior to pupation. Flow patterns around a cylinder in a laboratory stream were mapped, and the distribution of A. furiosum larvae within the wake, paired vortices and horseshoe vortex was recorded. Larvae selected areas with suitable water velocities and aligned with the flow, providing flow visualization of micro-current speed and direction. The potential for micro-habitat partitioning is discussed in relation to benthic sampling strategies.

Key words

Austrosimulium Simulium water velocity flow flow visualization 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • P.A. Horne
    • 1
  • G. Bennison
    • 1
  • J. Davis
    • 2
  1. 1.State Water Laboratory of Victoria, Rural Water CommissionArmadaleAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological and Environmental SciencesMurdoch UniversityW.A.Australia

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