, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 141–145 | Cite as

A laboratory study on the thermal tolerance of four southeastern stream insect species (Trichoptera, Ephemeroptera)

  • Steven J. deKozlowski
  • Dewey L. BuntingII


The acute thermal tolerances of four southeastern stream insect species, Ephemerella invaria (Walker), Stenonema ithaca (Clemens and Leonard), Symphitopsyche morosa (Hagun), and Brachycentrus lateralis (Say) were determined using an artificial stream enclosure. All species were acclimated at 10°C for 72 hours prior to instantaneous immersion into heated water for 96 hours. Percent mortality was recorded and the temperature at which 50% mortality occurred determined (LT5o). Data were subjected to standard statistical analysis.

Thermal tolerance values were compared between species tested and to results from previous investigations using similar methodologies. The evolution and life histories of these species were also discussed in relation to their thermal tolerance values.


Thermal tolerance temperature benthic insects Trichoptera Ephemeroptera 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Coutant, C. C. 1962. The effect of a heated water effluent upon the macroinvertebrate fauna of the Delaware River. Proc. Pennsylvania Acad. Sci. 36: 58–71.Google Scholar
  2. Garten, C. T. & Gentry, J. B. 1976. Thermal tolerance of dragonfly nymphs. II. Comparison of nymphs from control and thermally altered environments. Physiological Zoology 49: 206–213.Google Scholar
  3. Gaufin, A. R. & Hern, S. 1971. Laboratory studies on tolerance of aquatic insects to heated waters. J. Kansas Ent. Soc. 44 (2): 240–245.Google Scholar
  4. Gibbons, J. W., Sharitz, R. R., Howell, F. G. & Smith, M. H. 1975. The ecology of artificially heated streams, swamps, and reservoirs on the Savannah River plant: the thermal studies program of the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Pages 389–400 in: Environmental effects of cooling systems at nuclear power plants. Int. Atomic Energy Agency, IAEASM-187/13.Google Scholar
  5. Gregg, B. B. 1974. The effects of chlorine and heat on selected stream invertebrates. Ph.D. Thesis. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.Google Scholar
  6. Heiman, D. R. & Knight, A. W. 1972. Upper-lethal temperature relations of the nymphs of the stonefly, Paragnetina media. Hydrobiologia 39 (4): 479–493.Google Scholar
  7. Langford, T. E. 1971. The distribution, abundance, and life-histories of stoneflies (Plecoptera) and mayflies (Ephemeroptera) in a British river, warmed by cooling-water from a power station. Hydrobiologia 38 (2): 339–377.Google Scholar
  8. Nebeker, A. V. & Lemke, A. 1968. Preliminary studies on the tolerance of aquatic insects to heated waters. J. Kansas Entom. Soc. 41 (3): 413–418.Google Scholar
  9. Roback, S. S. 1965. Environmental requirements of Trichoptera. Pages 118–126 in: Proceedings of Third Seminar on Biological Problems in Water Pollution. C. M. Tarzwell (ed.). USPHS Publ. No. 999-WP-25.Google Scholar
  10. Sage, L. E. 1974. Thermal requirements of the Trichopteran nymph Hydropsyche from the Delaware River. Ph.D. Thesis. Lehigh University.Google Scholar
  11. Schuster, G. A. & Etnier, D. A. 1978. A manual for the identification of the larvae of the caddisfly genera Hydropsyche Pictet and Symphitopsyche Ulmer in eastern and central North America (Trichoptera: Hydropsychidae). EPA-600/4–78–060. 129 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Schuster, G. In manuscript. Morphological evidence supporting the genetic status of Symphitopsyche with ecological observations (Trichoptera: Hydropsychidae).Google Scholar
  13. Trembley, F. J. 1960. Research project on effects of condenser discharge water on aquatic life 1956–1959. Inst. Res., Lehigh University. 160 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Trembley, F. J. 1961. Research project on effects of condenser discharge on aquatic life. Inst. Res., Lehigh University Progr. Report 1960.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven J. deKozlowski
    • 1
  • Dewey L. BuntingII
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecology ProgramUniversity of TennesseeKnoxville

Personalised recommendations